IRVING, Texas -- Rami Hammad didn’t have to say much.
“It’s my dream school,” he said. And that pretty much told the story.
The moment Texas first offered last week, Hammad knew in his heart that playing in burnt orange was what he wanted. On Wednesday, the 6-foot-5, 314-pound Irving (Texas) High offensive lineman made it official with a verbal commitment, a tip of a fresh baseball cap and the traditional “Hook'Em” sign with his right hand.
Hammad's pledge gives the Longhorns 15 commits for the Class of 2013. A three-star recruit, Hammad is considered the No. 31 offensive guard in the country, but his size, footwork and overall versatility make him a legitimate candidate to play either guard or tackle at the next level.
“It’s just a great opportunity, a school with a lot of tradition and great academics,” Hammad said. “They’re ranked in the nation for their academics, and with my commit to them, I’m going to work to make sure we’re the best O-line in the nation. I believe in the setting there.”
Recruited by offensive line coach Stacy Searels, Hammad's stock has skyrocketed in the last two months. He originally committed to Oklahoma State in June, but he decommitted to explore his options. He then committed to Baylor in November -- before putting on an outstanding performance at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Carson, Calif., to start 2013.
Since that game, Hammad has been one of the nation’s hottest targets. Next, he was contacted by Texas, and promptly set up an official visit.
Things seemed to fit even better when Hammad’s assigned player host was freshman fullback Alex De La Torre, the son of Irving head coach Aaron De La Torre.
“It was crazy when I got [the offer],” Hammad said. “Once I got it, I had to take a step back. I feel like I’ve found a school that really has good football and good academics.
“Austin is like New York to me. I’m excited about Coach Searels and learning under him. I’m also excited about living in Austin. I’m ready.”