Frankie goes wild at practice

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At the start of the spring, if you were
asked to predict who would be the young breakout player of the spring,
I doubt it would have been redshirt freshman wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr.. He certainly wasn’t mine.

But
now, a week into drills, Hammond is my young guy player of the spring
so far. He has stood out in practice every day, making catches and
running smooth routes. He has been the most noticeable freshman orredshirt freshman on the practice field.

I’m
not the only one who’s noticed. So has No. 2 quarterback John Brantley,
who said after Wednesday’s practice that Hammond is really stepping up
and making plays. He wasn’t asked about Hammond specifically. He
volunteered his opinion when he was asked how the wide receivers were
doing as a group.

Hammond was not a big-time recruit coming out of Hallandale High School. He was rated only a three-star prospect by Scout.com. He arrived at UF way undersized at about 150 pounds, and he quickly disappeared on the scout team last fall.

But, man, this kid is really coming on. He’s gained more than 20 pounds and, for a redshirt
freshman, he looks very polished, poised and professional in his
approach. And he’s making plays, some tough ones. In at least three
practices, he’s made diving catches along the sideline or in the back
of the end zone. He’s making the routine catches as well. And he’s very
smooth, very fast.

I know it’s probably way too early to say this, but Hammond reminds me of former Florida great wide receiver Reidel Anthony. His speed and build are similar, and he seems to have a similar knack for making plays.

Of
course, he has a long way to go, but early indications are Frankie
Hammond Jr. has the “It” factor coaches are always talking about and
looking for.