Despite holding a couple major SEC offers, Gadsden, Ala., wide receiver B.J. Hammond is somewhat of an unknown in the recruiting world.
On Saturday, he began to turn some heads with his performance at the Atlanta NFTC. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound prospect looked smooth running routes and caught everything that was thrown to him. He made it look easy.
“This is my first actual combine that I’ve been able to make,” Hammond said. “I feel like today was a good warmup. People look at it like you stood out, but it was just a warmup to me. They haven’t seen anything yet.”
Hammond knows he’s flying under the radar right now, but he’s quick to point out another prospect, LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu, who also didn’t get a lot of publicity. He wound up reaching New York City last year as a Heisman trophy finalist.
“Take for instance the Honey Badger,” Hammond said. “He was real underrated. So I want to surprise people like that. When they see me, they’ll be like, ‘Who is that Hammond kid?’ They’re going to know about me. Definitely after this summer, everybody’s going to know my name.”
Although he may not be the biggest name in camps yet, Hammond has received plenty of interest from SEC schools and already has offers Auburn, LSU and Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have shown the most love and are currently at the top of his list.
Mississippi State: “Right now with recruiting, you want to get on the field as soon as possible. Mississippi State opened up that opportunity for me because they have got five seniors leaving, and I’d be able to come in and play right away. That’s why that’s like my No. 1 school.”
Auburn: “Auburn’s showed me a lot of love. I love Coach Troop(er) Taylor. He’s been with me since I was a sophomore, so I’ve got to give them a lot of love. I go down there and visit a lot.”
LSU: “I’ve only been to LSU once, but I loved it when I went down there with the hype videos and all that kind of stuff. I’ve been liking LSU. I’m looking forward to them, too.”
One school noticeably absent from that list is the University of Alabama. Hammond says that the Crimson Tide has verbally extended an offer to him, but the offer isn’t official until he visits for a practice or game.
If that offer comes his way, Hammond expects Alabama to move up into that top group of schools he’s considering.
“A lot of our ex-players have been to Alabama, Dre (Kirkpatrick), Jerrell (Harris),” Hammond said. “I love Alabama. They’re in my top five schools now. I’m just looking around, seeing all my options.”
Hammond, who visited UA for one of its junior days, plans to return to Tuscaloosa for the Tide’s camp in June.