Damar Hamlin: The most touching show of affection from former University of Pittsburgh teammate

Much has been said about Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin and the chilling and terrifying scene that unfolded on the Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field and, as a result, required CPR to restart his heart to be taken to the hospital.

For everyone who saw the moment in real time, it was sobering, heartbreaking and hard to understand why something so horrible could happen to such a loving, kind-hearted 24-year-old man. But despite all the comments, as well as thoughts and prayers, Dallas Cowboys running back Qadree Ollison shared Wednesday who Hamlin is as a person.

Damar Hamlin: Buffalo & Cincinnati fans unite, hold vigil in support of the safety@Enquirer/@caraphoto23

Ollison, a fifth-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2019, was selected by now Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Ollison played in 19 games with 158 yards and five touchdowns before signing with the Cowboys’ practice squad this offseason.

Hamlin and Ollison shared the field in college

More importantly, Ollison was a teammate and friend of Hamlin’s during their time together at the University of Pittsburgh. When asked what he would tell his friend if the opportunity presented itself, Ollison said he reached out to Hamlin after Monday night’s tragedy.

Family rep: Damar Hamlin recovery ‘in positive direction’

“I texted him and told him I love him,” Ollison said. “And that’s what I would tell him if I could talk to him right now. I would let him know that I love him, and I can’t wait to see him again, smiling, being himself.”

Olison is confident in Hamlin’s recovery

“But honestly, it’s heartbreaking to see someone like that. But I also trust him and I know who he is. I know where he’s coming from. So, I’m confident that he’s going to be okay….. It was tragic, it was sad to see, but I know my brother.”

Ollison acknowledged how difficult it has been to watch his friend suffer through something that happened to Hamlin, but he also didn’t shy away from his optimism that he will pull through. As difficult as the situation has been for those closest to him, Ollison’s hope for his brother’s life was palpable.

“It’s hard,” he said. “You never want to see someone you’re friends with or consider a brother go down like that. But I try to stay optimistic. My optimism is high. I know who he is. I know he’s going to come out of this.”