Prospect: Rodney Hammond
Status: SI All-American candidate
Vitals: 5-foot-10, 170 pounds
Position: Running Back
School: Norfolk (Va.) Booker T. Washington
Committed to: Pittsburgh
Projected Position: Cornerback or Running Back
Frame: Cut and lean frame with some length. Just looks like a future college cornerback with room to add mass to upper and lower half.
Athleticism: First-step burst speaks for itself. Open-field speed to make plays with strong stride. Stops and starts like an elite athlete should. Hand-eye coordination is very good as is body control and ability to maintain balance through traffic.
Instincts: As a running back, really does a great job of setting up missed tackles with sharp cuts and stop-and-start moves. Knows when to shake a defender or blow by him. As a free safety, baits opposing quarterbacks into throwing the ball and then runs it down.
Polish: Natural side pedal while in coverage. Breaks on the football very well. Reads the quarterback’s eyes and adjusts from there. As a runner, takes advantage of plus athleticism to make defenders miss. Hits the hole with conviction and can finish behind his pads.
Bottom Line: Hammond provides very good athleticism to play defensive back or running back at the college level. While somewhere in the secondary is probably his best long-term position, getting the football in his hands in the return game could be a happy medium. Explosive in space, Hammond’s speed and lateral quickness also make him a candidate to play offense full time.