NCF On The Trail: Rami Hammad

When Texas brought in Stacy Searels after the 2010 season to overhaul its offensive line, it did so with an ideal in mind.

Searels had been coaching SEC offensive lines -- first at LSU, then Georgia -- since 2003. The assumption, fair or not, was that he’d whip the Longhorns line into shape and up to the standards of college football’s most dominant conference.

[+] EnlargeStacy Searles
John Rivera/Icon SMIOne-third of Texas' class consists of offensive linemen recruited by coach Stacy Searels.
Principles are important. Personnel matters more.

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Weekly commitment update 

January, 25, 2013
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ACC
Clemson
Kyrin Priester WR Snellville, Ga./Brookwood
HT: 6-1 WT: 181
Position Rank: #20 WR

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IRVING, Texas -- Rami Hammad didn’t have to say much.

“It’s my dream school,” he said. And that pretty much told the story.

[+] EnlargeRami Hammad
Cal Sport Media via AP ImagesThree-star lineman Rami Hammad adds to Texas' stellar offensive line class for 2013.
The moment Texas first offered last week, Hammad knew in his heart that playing in burnt orange was what he wanted. On Wednesday, the 6-foot-5, 314-pound Irving (Texas) High offensive lineman made it official with a verbal commitment, a tip of a fresh baseball cap and the traditional “Hook'Em” sign with his right hand.

Hammad's pledge gives the Longhorns 15 commits for the Class of 2013. A three-star recruit, Hammad is considered the No. 31 offensive guard in the country, but his size, footwork and overall versatility make him a legitimate candidate to play either guard or tackle at the next level.

“It’s just a great opportunity, a school with a lot of tradition and great academics,” Hammad said. “They’re ranked in the nation for their academics, and with my commit to them, I’m going to work to make sure we’re the best O-line in the nation. I believe in the setting there.”

Recruited by offensive line coach Stacy Searels, Hammad's stock has skyrocketed in the last two months. He originally committed to Oklahoma State in June, but he decommitted to explore his options. He then committed to Baylor in November -- before putting on an outstanding performance at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Carson, Calif., to start 2013.

Since that game, Hammad has been one of the nation’s hottest targets. Next, he was contacted by Texas, and promptly set up an official visit.

Things seemed to fit even better when Hammad’s assigned player host was freshman fullback Alex De La Torre, the son of Irving head coach Aaron De La Torre.

“It was crazy when I got [the offer],” Hammad said. “Once I got it, I had to take a step back. I feel like I’ve found a school that really has good football and good academics.

“Austin is like New York to me. I’m excited about Coach Searels and learning under him. I’m also excited about living in Austin. I’m ready.”

Signing day primer: Texas

January, 23, 2013
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Team needs: Texas hit the recruiting trail this year seeking improved depth on the offensive line and at linebacker. Its line got almost no production from backups in 2012, and an inexperienced linebacker group started six players last season and endured struggles throughout. With only nine seniors in 2012, the Longhorns don’t have many other holes that need to be filled by this class of recruits. The most irreplaceable cogs are safety Kenny Vaccaro and defensive end Alex Okafor. Both are potential first-round NFL draft picks whose production will be tough to match.

Help is on the way: The offensive line questions have been answered. Texas is set to sign one of the nation’s best classes up front with five commits, including No. 1 center Darius James (Killeen, Texas/Harker Heights) and No. 4 tackle Kent Perkins (Dallas/Lake Highlands). Contra Costa (Calif.) College tackle Desmond Harrison joined the class this week. Texas also landed ESPN 300 outside linebacker Deoundrei Davis (Cypress, Texas/Cypress Woods), who enrolled early and should contribute as a freshman.

Other key commits: Two more early enrollees, ESPN 150 lineman Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina) and Butte (Calif.) College tight end Geoff Swaim, should play right away. Texas also has pledges from ESPN 150 defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights), receiver Jacorey Warrick (Houston/Cypress Falls) and cornerback Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop). The Longhorns will pair Warrick with Jake Oliver (Dallas/Jesuit), who broke the Texas state record for career receptions.

Other key targets: Holding on to Robinson is crucial. He has taken official visits to USC and Alabama and could make a late-second flip on signing day. With a pledge from Harrison, the biggest remaining priorities are finding another running back and wide receiver. ESPN 150 receiver Sebastian LaRue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica) and Ole Miss running back commit Peyton Barber (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) could visit in January.

Texas adds juco OT Desmond Harrison

January, 21, 2013
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Texas kicked off on Monday what could be a fruitful final few weeks of 2013 recruiting by picking up its first verbal commit since October.

The Longhorns have landed pledge No. 14 from Contra Costa (Calif.) College offensive lineman Desmond Harrison.

The three-star prospect chose Texas over Arizona State, USC, Oklahoma and offers from more than 20 schools.

“This feels real good,” Harrison said. “I feel like I just made the best decision. It was a tight decision. It really boiled down to Arizona State and Texas, and they really made it difficult. It just felt like Texas was the best for me.”

Harrison had been leaning toward choosing Texas for a while, but the final decision was tougher than he’d expected.

“It was a last-minute decision,” he said. “Everything came down to the end. I was still thinking about it today."

A 6-foot-8, 310-pound lineman who is being recruited to play left tackle, Harrison took an official visit to Texas on Dec. 7 and is the program’s second junior college pledge, joining Butte (Calif.) College tight end signee Geoff Swaim.

(Read full post)

Texas visit an eye-opener for OL Hammad 

January, 21, 2013
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Back when Texas first reached out to Rami Hammad, his high school coach offered some simple advice: If they offer, you better take a visit.

By Sunday, the Irving, Texas, offensive lineman certainly understood why Aaron De La Torre said that. The visit left such a strong impression that the three-star recruit decided it was time to decommit from Baylor.


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OL Hammad decommits, has a top 4 

January, 20, 2013
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The stage is now set for three-star offensive lineman Rami Hammad (Irving, Texas/Irving) to make a final decision. That day will come Wednesday.


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Weekend Rewind: Midlands 

November, 19, 2012
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Decommitments were somewhat popular last week in the Midlands region.

It started on Wednesday, when three-star offensive lineman Rami Hammad (Irving, Texas/Irving) decommitted from Oklahoma State and chose Baylor. ESPN 300 safety Kameron Miles (Mesquite, Texas/West Mesquite) followed the trend, as he decommitted from Tennessee -- three days before the firing of head coach Derek Dooley -- and committed to Texas A&M the same day.

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News broke late Tuesday that three-star offensive lineman Rami Hammad (Irving, Texas/Irving) switched his commitment from Oklahoma State to Baylor. On Wednesday, when Irving teammate and Oklahoma State pledge Jaxon Salinas was asked how solid he was with his commitment to the Cowboys, he replied with one word.

“Completely,” he said.

A three-star offensive guard, Salinas committed to Oklahoma State on July 23. While he has offers from other programs, Salinas reconfirmed his pledge and said he was ready for Big 12 football in Stillwater, Okla.

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OG Rami Hammad makes the switch 

November, 14, 2012
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Three-star offensive guard Rami Hammad (Irving, Texas) has decommitted from Oklahoma State and is now on board with Baylor, multiple sources report.

Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Boise State, Colorado, Colorado State, Duke, Houston, Iowa, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Mexico State, North Texas, Ole Miss, Rice, San Diego State, SMU, Stephen F. Austin, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa and UTSA were his other offers.

The 6-foot-5, 314-pound senior also received interest from programs such as LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

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Video: Rami Hammad and Jaxon Salinas

August, 21, 2012
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video
Midlands Recruiting Coordinator Damon Sayles stopped by Irving (Texas) High School to visit with current and future teammates Jaxon Salinas and Rami Hammad, both Oklahoma State offensive line commits.
Jaxon Salinas (Irving, Texas) knows his future. If football isn’t in it, graphic design is.

Salinas, a versatile offensive lineman, made a visit to Oklahoma State on Monday. Along with checking out the athletic facilities, Salinas had a chance to view the graphic design department and all it had to offer.

Salinas’ trip was capped by a scholarship offer, and the 6-foot-4, 290-pound lineman committed on the spot. Salinas became the Cowboys’ 15th commitment of the 2013 recruiting class.

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Offensive guard Rami Hammad (Irving, Texas/Irving) said he felt confident Oklahoma State was his choice last Friday.

That confidence was bolstered after spending time with OSU offensive tackle commit Zachary Crabtree (Mansfield, Texas/Mansfield) at OSU’s satellite camp in the Dallas area earlier this week.

And Hammad said he no longer had to wait, committing to the Cowboys on Friday afternoon. Hammad is a three-star prospect who is 6-foot-5 and 314 pounds.

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Versatile offensive lineman Rami Hammad (Irving, Texas) has sifted through his list of 26 offers – the latest coming from Kansas on Friday – and has come up with a top three.

Hammad on Saturday said Oklahoma State, Baylor and Arkansas are his current finalists, and he is looking to make a decision in the near future. Hammad has plans to visit Arkansas – the lone school on the list that has yet to offer – next weekend.

In the meanwhile, Hammad said weighing all 26 offers has been a pleasant experience.

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