- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
Rami Hammad set out to prove himself when he left for the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Los Angeles.
The Irving (Texas) offensive guard flew home Saturday night feeling he’d accomplished that and much, much more.
Hammad, a Baylor verbal commit, earned offensive line MVP for the game Friday night in a showing that drew plenty of attention. Since that all-star game ended, the 6-foot-5, 314-pound lineman picked up new offers from Cal, UCLA, Michigan State and Utah.
Those are nice, but it appears Hammad could be close to landing an offer that could make him rethink his commitment.
Texas offensive line coach Stacy Searles has been in touch with Hammad in the past few days and could bring him in on a visit in the near future.
“He wants me to get up there on a visit, and I told him I want to talk to my coach first and my dad and family,” Hammad said. “I’m solid on Baylor but I won’t reject any offers.”
Hammad built up a good relationship with Texas linebacker commit Naashon Hughes (Harker Heights, Texas/Harker Heights) during their time together at the Semper Fi game, and Hughes helped initiate the contact between Hammad and Searels.
“I call him Naa-Naa. He’s a cool guy. He talked Texas up the whole time basically,” Hammad said. “I was hanging out with Naa-Naa and he told Coach Searels about me, and coach Searels talked to me and said he wants one more offensive lineman and he regrets not recruiting me early and thinks I’m real good.”
Hammad previously committed to Oklahoma State before pledging to Baylor in November. He said he “never, ever” thought Texas would come calling, and now he has some thinking to do while he awaits a potential offer.
He’ll talk things over with his father and Irving coach Aaron De La Torre in the next few days. His coach’s son, Alex De La Torre, is a freshman fullback for the Longhorns.
“Today we were talking about it. He thinks it would be my best offer so far and I need to go visit,” Hammad said.
Before adding the four new ones this weekend, Hammad held more than 25 offers. He took on LSU commit Christian LaCouture, Washington pledge Elijah Qualls and Auburn commit Tashawn Bower in Semper Fi practices and believed he dominated.
“I got O-line MVP every day. I never lost a 1-on-1 matchup,” he said. “I body-slammed some of those guys and I made a reputation. I went out there to show something. I didn’t play around. I wanted to show what a three-star can do, because I think I’m really underrated.”
That the Longhorns are now interested only confirms to Hammad that his hard work has paid off.
He plans to talk to Searles early next week to discuss whether he’ll take a visit. If he did visit, Hammad said he’s not sure if he would decommit before checking out Austin.
That decision will have to come later. Right now, Hammad is just excited about the possibility of ending up at the school he’s liked ever since he was a kid.
“I want to see how this plays out. If I got an offer from Texas, that would shake me up a little bit,” he said. “I’m solid right now, like I said, but if and when I do get the offer, I’d talk about it. I just have to make sure I’m making the right choice.”