The majority of the 2013 Texas Longhorns recruiting class is enrolled at Texas and on campus after checking in on Saturday, but Irving offensive guard Rami Hammad took one final opportunity to speak with Burnt Orange Nation special contributor Evan Massey late last week before entering into media silence on Saturday.
Hammad was one of the final three pieces of the class and had a remarkable recruitment -- at one time committed to Baylor, Hammad flipped to Oklahoma State before a monster performance at the Semper Fi Bowl launched his recruitment into another stratosphere and earned the attention of the Texas coaching staff. Following a visit in January, the 6'5, 320-pounder ended his recruitment after a wild year that saw him add roughly 50 pounds and demonstrate rare and remarkable improvement in his flexibility and overall strength.
He basically became a different player and the Longhorns look likely to benefit after a redshirt season as offensive line coach Stacy Searels looks to dominate opponents on the interior with significant weight advantages in those three spots.
Confident after seeing the results of his hard work, Hammad is poised to continue maximizing his talent at Texas, which bodes well for the future of the offensive line.
Q. What made you choose to sign with the Longhorns?
A. The program tradition, connections, academics, and the comfortable feel of home that I felt there man!
Q. What impact did the presence of Irving head coach Aaron De La Torre, the father of Texas fullback Alex De La Torre, have on your decision?
A. It was good insight to the program considering his son goes there, but I really went and treated my visit like any other, and chose it based on my family and myself.
Q. How long have you been a Texas fan? How did the 'Horns begin showing their interest, and how did you feel when they did?
A. I never really was a fan of any college football team and never thought I'd play college ball, but I worked hard through the necessary steps in my life to make it and football became a reality. Got an offer and locked it in and as they came and I progressed to higher offers, I just kept on concentrating on my game until I got more attention.
I had an injury and overcame it to come back even stronger and finished my senior season strong. Then I got an invite to the Semper Fi Bowl and had like 40 offers then, and got the MVP award out there with a good performance before coming back home to another 20 offers. UT was my last and final desire out of the whole recruiting process and after the visit it I locked it in.
Q. What did you do to improve your flexibility and overall strength?
A. Weight room and conditioning. I mean last year at this time I was 270 and now I'm a good 320 at 20% body fat, so the numbers speak for themselves.
Q. What do you think of the Texas offensive line class?
A. It's the best in the nation.
Q. What would you say your individual and team goals are for your career at Texas?
A. Individually, to do my job with complete execution, and for the team -- win football games.
Q. Who would you say has helped you get to this point in your career the most?
A. My dad.
Q. What would you tell fans to expect to see from you on the field?
A. 100% effort and I will finish plays to the whistle.
Q. What would you tell a young football player with D1 dreams to do?
A. Hard work will never go to waste and keep your grades up because you can change your game in a year, but you can't change a four-year average.
Also worth mentioning -- Hammad may be in contention for the nicest whip on the team, though Quandre Diggs may have something to say about that:
Raised it 5 inches and now it's a clean princess sitin high!🙌🙌 twitter.com/RamiHammad67UT…— Rami Hammad (@RamiHammad67UT) May 26, 2013