Amid Florida’s starting quarterback announcement came a depth chart reveal that seemingly flew under the radar: Florida junior wide receiver Josh Hammond ranking ahead of teammates Trevon Grimes and Kadarius Toney on the depth chart.
But those close to the team understand the importance Hammond plays inside UF’s locker room.
The Hallandale native provides a veteran presence for a team in search of an offensive identity this season.
As UF has looked to incorporate Grimes and fellow transfer Van Jefferson in the receiver rotation, Hammond has kept the ship steady behind the scenes throughout spring and preseason camp while continuing to assert himself as one of Florida’s reliable playmakers.
“The great thing that Josh does is he is like the leadership committee member of the wide receiver position. He is a great leader within that group, but not afraid to get after people and by example in what he does,”
UF coach Dan Mullen said. “He brings flexibility in that you feel comfortable he can play several different positions on the field, with the knowledge and standard we expect from the program. That leadership quality from the position is where he’s just stands out for everybody within that group.”
And Hammond — a naturally soft-spoken individual — concurred with Mullen that he needed to continue developing a presence on the field as an upperclassmen. With the rest of the unit also putting in the work necessary away from the field, Hammond said the position group seemingly has displayed limitless potential.
“Being more vocal, I think that’s the biggest thing for me,” Hammond said. “I think I’ve kind of took a role in trying to get everybody going and coming to work every day.
“We’re a good receiver corps and we’re going to be one of the best receiver corps in the country.”
Yet Hammond, who recorded 18 receptions for 246 yards in 2017, realizes the hype is meaningless without the production to back it up, meaning Saturday’s season opener will gauge the offense’s true potential.
“We haven’t been through it with these coaches before, so definitely some curiosity on how it’s going to go and the different play call Coach Mullen likes on like 3rd and 5, 3rd and short,” Hammond said. “That’s just things we’ll just learn and grow with time. I’m just excited to go out and get rolling.”
Regardless of whether Florida scores six or 60 come Saturday, Hammond is adamant the work he and his teammates have put in will turn heads and pay dividends sooner rather than later.
“I think this offseason the receiver group, we’ve worked the hardest we have since I’ve been here. That just gives me the confidence to know we could be a really talented group, because we’ve put the work in,” Hammond said. “So with that being said, I think the biggest thing for us now is just to get it going, stay focused and be humble, and every Saturday come out and show what we can do.”