IRVING, Texas -- Though it’s essentially meaningless now that he’s on campus and a member of the Longhorns, Texas offensive line signee Rami Hammad still can’t get over the fact he was deemed a three-star prospect.
He won’t soon forget that. It’s been a driving force for the Irving, Texas, offensive guard for the past year, and he’s confident he’ll dispel any doubt about his talent by competing for a starting job immediately this summer and fall.
Thanks to the Bennie Wylie workout plan this spring, the 6-foot-5 lineman went from 335 pounds on signing day to 308 pounds today. He’s done everything he possible could to prepare for his arrival and his freshman debut.
Before he left for Austin, Hammad sat down with HornsNation to discuss is plans for 2013 and how far he’s already come.
HN: It seems like your goals for your freshman season are pretty obvious. How do you map them out?
Hammad: First things first. I’ve got to take care of academics and adapt to college life. I don’t think it’ll be that tough for me considering I don’t like to party or do anything wrong. My main goal is to play in Year 1. I don’t want to settle for anything else.
HN: Think back to a year ago. How would you have felt had you been told you’d end up a Longhorn?
Hammad: Man, I’d probably think you’re crazy. They never talked to me then, and it was pretty much last minute when I caught their attention. I like to earn my things, and I think I earned it. People doubted me throughout the way, even at my own high school. I’m really glad I proved myself.
HN: Why do you think it took so long for Texas to target you?
Hammad: I don’t know. I think they might’ve overlooked me. I wasn’t as solid-looking my junior year, and it was my first year on varsity. I really don’t know.
HN: Is there a spot on the line you envision playing this fall for Texas?
Hammad: I believe so. I think a couple spots could be open. I’m really excited to see where everybody is dominant. That’s the only way we’re going to be good is if the guy behind you is better than you. I do think I’ve got a chance to play early if I go in there and my conditioning is right and I learn the plays quick.
Hammad: Definitely. Offensive line is always the foundation. We set the tone. They say the game is played before the ball is even snapped. If the other person has fear, you’re definitely going to win that rep.
HN: In having to make two decommitments before winding up at Texas, what did you learn from your recruiting process?
Hammad: Like I said, I like to earn everything. I started off with a commitment to shut off recruiting. My phone was blowing up, and it got tiring, and I wanted to concentrate on getting better in the summer. I just wanted to guarantee something. Later on I realized Oklahoma State didn’t have what I wanted to study, so I switched it. I want to study kinesiology. Baylor has a medical school. They really wanted me bad, and they put offensive linemen in the NFL so I switched to Baylor.
HN: What, in the end, was the biggest reason you decided to sign with Texas?
Hammad: My family was happy there. I went on my official and really felt like home. I like the feel of New York in Texas. It’s really what I felt, and I could see myself living there.
HN: What’s the best, nastiest play you ever made in your high school career?
Hammad: That would go back two years. It was a reverse pull, me and the other guard pulled. We went around the corner, and I had a seven-man pancake. Seriously.
We were playing against Nimitz in JV. The running back was hiding behind us, and we took that to the house, and we won the game with zero time left on the clock. There was a pile building up, and I drove my guy into it. I drove a defensive end into a defensive tackle, and they all collapsed. My O-line coach came up to me and said, ‘You have a bright future.’