Josh Hammond emerging as leader

Aug 29, 2018 | 0 comments

The Florida Gators wide receivers' group has generated tons of hype this off-season with transfers Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson joining the team. Certainly, they deserve the recognition with Florida’s receivers being virtually nonexistent the past several years. 

However, there’s been one name that hasn’t received the credit he deserves as the opener approaches – that being Josh Hammond.  

Freddie Swain voiced his opinion on Hammond on Tuesday night. 

“He’s very vocal. He likes to do things by example. Everybody watches him. He’s going to do everything right, never going to be late. He don’t miss class. He’s just a guy you want to follow.” 

The 6-foot junior transformed himself this off-season and earned a start in the season opener. Hammond mentioned on Monday certain areas he’s improved on this summer and fall.  

“Just probably being more vocal. I think that's the biggest thing for me, just that the receiver group, I think I've kind of took a role in trying to get everybody going and coming to work every day. Just show the world that we're a good receiver corps and we're going to be one of the best receiver corps in the country." 

Those are eye popping statements considering Hammond only has 32 catches for 423 total yards in his first two seasons. But, the Ocala (Fla.) native believes his position group has prepared all off-season to prove the world wrong. 

"Just the work that we've put in. I think this offseason the receiver group, we've worked the hardest we have since I've been here. That just gives me the confidence to know we could be a really talented group because we've put the work in, so with that being said I think the biggest thing for us now is just to get it going, stay focused and be humble and every Saturday come out and show what we can do." 

Following the release of the depth chart on Monday, Hammond was a surprising name that sat atop the receiver's depth chart. For Dan Mullen, it was a no-brainer. 

"You know what, the great thing that Josh does is he is like the leadership committee member of the wide receiver position. He is a great leader within that group, both not afraid to get after people and by example in what he does. He brings flexibility in that you feel comfortable he can play several different positions on the field, with the knowledge and standard we expect from the program. That leadership quality from the position is where he's just stands out for everybody within that group." 

Whenever transferring to a new program, it may be difficult for one to get accustomed to the new lifestyle on campus. Van Jefferson is one example that dealt with relocating schools. Thanks to Hammond, the transition from Oxford (Miss.) to Gainesville (Fla.) smoothly panned out.  

“Josh Hammond, when I came in he helped me out a lot, me being a new guy. He showed me around town, text me if I needed anything. He’s going to have a really good year I think. I’m excited for him,” Jefferson said Tuesday night following practice.  

Time will tell if the new leadership role will deliver on field success this season. But, Hammond certainly knows he has the support and confidence from his teammates and coaches. 

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