In a wide receiver corps that’s as deep as the one on Florida’s sideline, it’s tough to pick out a guy that’s the best — so tough that I’m not going to be the one to do it.
Instead, I’ll attack a different argument — one thats not very common.
With, again, a unit that is so deep and so talented, it’s hard to think that even one of the guys is underrated.
Freddie Swain, Van Jefferson, Trevon Grimes, Tyrie Cleveland — they’re all good.
But I excluded one guy from that list. And I’d bet that at least half of the people that read that list wouldn’t even realize that one of Florida’s biggest playmakers was purposely omitted to prove a point.
Ever heard of him?
Now that his name is front of you you’re going face-palming yourself in disbelief that you could forget No. 10. And, to be frank, you should be face-palming yourself.
After all, this is the same guy that didn’t drop a single pass thrown his way in 2018. That’s right — not one.
Which leads me into the biggest reason he’s so underrated.
Hammond’s consistency is second to none.
When Feleipe Franks was under center for the Gators, Hammond was his go-to guy.
Yet, now that Kyle Trask has taken over, Hammond is still getting reps. Even despite the fact that Kyle undoubtedly favors other guys named Kyle.
Through the 2019 season Hammond has snatched 24 receptions for 307 yards and two touchdowns.
Not the sexiest stat line, which again, contributes to him being underrated.
Hammond isn’t the guy that breaks off these huge plays (though he can), but rather he serves as an unwavering rock in the Gator offense.
While averaging just 12.8 yards per catch, Hammond is often used as the check down. And with his solid hands, why wouldn’t he be?
However, Hammond’s success doesn’t just come through the air. With his speed and patience, Hammond fairs fairly well on the ground as well.
In Florida’s come-from-behind win over Kentucky, Hammond blasted off for a 76-yard touchdown off of a jet sweep to put the Gators ahead of the Wildcats.
Josh Hammond is talented. Though in a field of diamonds, it’s hard to shine the brightest.
However, perhaps what makes Hammond so special is his unselfishness. This, of course, comes back to the fact that Florida’s receiving unit is so deep. Those in the Gator receiving group have no choice but to be unselfish as the ball can only be spread around so much.
But Hammond’s unselfishness is something everyone sees.
Trotting out to the logo ahead of every game is Hammond, linebacker David Reese and fellow senior wide receiver Freddie Swain.
Following the toss, one of the two senior receivers will take their seat on the sideline, while the other gets to start the game. While it isn’t exactly what one would expect from a pair of senior captains, Hammond and Swain devised the alternating rhythm on their own merit.
“Me and Freddie didn’t really care, so we were like we’ll just switch it every week and just roll with that,” Hammond said.
All the while, Dan Mullen gets a kick out of it.
“It’s kind of funny, the two guys that play the same position are two team captains, Freddie and Josh,” coach Dan Mullen said. “They play the exact same (position). One question I can’t answer for you is how many games either one of them have started this year.
Social media jokes that Hammond has been a Gator forever. They post parody pictures with Hammond’s face alongside lineups that include Fred Davis, Reidel Anthony and Ike Hilliard.
Rest assured, Hammond hasn’t been on the football roster since the 1990s.
However, his time at Florida is coming to an end. And one can only hope, that Hammond’s name is one that is remembered for years to come.
After all, he’s earned it.