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One of Arkansas' more high profile signees is Little Rock athlete T.J. Hammonds from
Pulaski JOE T. ROBINSON HIGH SCHOOL! (yes, that my high school, so I'm excited)
Despite his 4-star status, I feel like Hammonds has largely flown under the radar this recruiting year for two reasons. One is that he committed way back last spring, and early commitments never generate as much hype as big time commitments close to Signing Day. The other is that he's listed as an "athlete" instead of as a running back or a wide receiver.
I think the latter has made it difficult for fans to envision what the Razorbacks will do with him. Running backs and receivers typically aren't the same build of athlete, so how will this work? How can he be both? There are a few high profile all-purpose players who have legitimately pulled off being both, but those players are very rare.
Arkansas will likely use Hammonds more as a tailback (and if you consider him a running back, you have to feel much better about the Razorbacks bringing in two 4-star running backs) even if not an every-down type of back. I don't know how often he'll be running up the middle, but I can definitely see the Hogs calling plays designed to get Hammonds the ball in space. That's not something we've seen Arkansas do for anybody in the Bielema era. Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams rarely caught passes.
But Hammonds could really add that wrinkle. Arkansas showed in 2015 that they weren't going to be just some routine ground and pound offense, and really did a great job of proving they were willing to throw it around as well. Bringing Hammonds into the fold adds that new wrinkle of turning the tailback into a regular receiver, and that should be a very exciting thing for Razorback fans.
Hammonds will also be used regularly as a return specialist on special teams. The Hogs have struggled there in recent years, so hopefully Hammonds can turn that into a team strength.
Welcome to Fayetteville, T.J!