The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Senior Malik Hamm signs with Baltimore Ravens

Malik Hamm will play for the Ravens in his hometown of Baltimore. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Malik Hamm, two-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and five-time all-league selection, signed with the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday as an undrafted free agent. After five years with the Leopards, Hamm is getting a chance to play at the next level as the first player that dons the Maroon and White to sign with an NFL team since Matt Smalley did so with the New York Giants in 2016.

“I’m really excited … it’s almost surreal. All I can say is all the ups and downs on my journey prepared for this moment,” Hamm said. “My teammates at Lafayette have been special to me. I was able to create a second family away from home and I’m grateful. My coaches, I’m forever grateful for because they got me ready for this moment.”

Hamm, a Baltimore native, is not only getting a chance to play in the NFL, but he is getting to do so for his hometown team.

“I grew up a Ravens fan in Baltimore so the moment feels that much better. Plus my friends and family are extra excited because of that,” Hamm said. “Honestly, I knew that the Ravens liked me but anything could happen during the draft. So when I went undrafted and Baltimore offered me a contract as a free agent, it was a no-brainer.”

Hamm has garnered NFL attention since his freshman year when he was named to the Hero Sports Freshman All-American Team after leading the Leopards with 15 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. His sophomore year, he broke out, winning his first Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and having the 10th most sacks per game in all of the FCS. His junior year was curtailed by COVID-19, yet he still managed to win his second straight team MVP, setting himself up to be named the first-ever recipient of the Chris LaPierta ’89 Captain Award at the beginning of 2021.

The fall of 2021 saw him once again earn a first-team all-Patriot League selection after recording the second-most tackles and sacks on the team while facing more double teams than any other player in the Patriot League. Finally, he fittingly capped off his Leopard career by forcing a fumble on the last play of the 158th rivalry to win the game. For his efforts senior year, he won his second Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and entered the Patriot League record books with the fourth most sacks in conference history.

“Malik has worked so hard and has earned the opportunity to play in the NFL. Our staff is so happy for him and his family,” head football coach John Troxell said. “We can’t wait to watch him live his dream.”

For his efforts during his time at Lafayette, Hamm was awarded the Charles L. Albert Award for the most outstanding senior athlete at the Pardees, the award ceremony for student-athletes, last Monday.

“It felt great getting all your achievements recognized by athletics. Especially with all the other people that were nominated,” Hamm said. “I can say that Lafayette has expanded what I thought success meant and I’m forever grateful.”

The football team that Hamm is leaving behind will sorely miss their two-time captain.

“Malik is going to be a huge loss, you cannot make that up and you can’t try to replace him. He is truly a once-in-a-lifetime player,” junior linebacker Preston Forney said.

Hamm offered advice to the Lafayette community. “My departing message would be not to let anybody define who you are as a person. Do what you think is right and follow your dreams.”

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Charlie Berman
Charlie Berman, Sports Editor

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