Diamond in the Rough: Daylon Hammond

Daylon Hammond is a 6’0’’, 177-pound receiver from Alexandria High School in Alexandria, Louisiana. Hammond displays elite speed and route running. His technique of head fakes and releasing off the line is on par with some of the best receivers in the nation. He can also be placed into the backfield for an added threat. His patience to find holes in the line and patience to read the linebackers to sit in holes is unmatched. He also has a great ability to high point the football and make plays over the top of defensive backs. The combination of both the vertical and speed of Hammond makes him a great deep ball threat. Hammond draws double teams and forces opposing coaches to game plan around him. 

What made you decide to start playing football and when did you really get into it?

I really started when I was a kid. I played in a AAA league in Alexandria when I was about 8 or 9. I quit playing after that and did not really start back up until I got into Junior High. I was not a huge fan of contact at first but I really started to enjoy it and got back into it. 

How do you get ready for a game?

I start out by just sitting off by myself. Usually in the locker room. From there I just put my headphones in and start listening to music. I just take the day and try to focus in. 

How do you think that playing football has helped you grow as a person off the field?

It helps me be a better person off the field because I stay locked in even when I am not on the field regardless of what is going on. I take the discipline I learned on the field and apply it to every aspect of my life. 

What do you think really sets you apart from a lot of the other player at your position?

Most of them aren’t really football players. They just play football because they think it is the cool thing to do. With me I have that motivation to really work hard and go somewhere. That makes me work a lot harder than they do. I want it more than them. 

Who would you see, either in the NFL or in college, that you model your game after?

Justin Jefferson. He is a great route runner. He is also a very aggressive runner. He runs to the football very aggressively and makes great plays on it. He is just a ball player more than anything. 

Who do you think has been the biggest influence on your life so far?

My dad. He really helped me out a lot growing up. He also was a great football player, so he gives me a lot of tips. 

Do you play any other sports in high school, and how have those skills translated to the football field?

I play basketball and baseball. Well in basketball it is a lot of running. That really helps build up my speed and my quick change of direction. With baseball, it has helped out my reaction time. You don’t have a long amount of time to decide what you are going to do. Baseball has really taught me to think quick on my feet and make important decisions in split seconds. 

How do you think your coaches and teammates would describe you as a player?

My coach always says I am a hard worker, and I think my teammates can attest to that. I also think my teammates look at me as someone they can come to. They would say I was a leader of the team and a team player.

What is your favorite part about playing in a football game?

The fact I can hit someone without being in the wrong. I can just play aggressive and have fun doing it. 

What kind of goals, either personal or as a team, do you have for this next season?

I want to become a better player and a better person for my team. I want to come out and help my team win more games. I feel like I might have been held back some years just due to my age, but this year feels like a breakout year to me. 

Did you always play receiver, or did you start somewhere else?

When I first started I actually played defensive back. Then I transitioned over to my receiver. It really helped me understand exactly how the defensive back was going to play me.