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Deyavie Hammond talks Gators
With potentially six offensive linemen leaving after next season, the position is one of Florida’s biggest needs in the Class of 2019.
A priority target for the staff is Deyavie Hammond, a top-50 overall recruit and 4-star guard who attends IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.). Hammond is originally from Lakeland, Fla., and has heavy interest in the in-state Gators.
“I like Coach [Dan] Mullen and his new staff. I think they can build the program up,” Hammond said. “They put a lot of offensive linemen in the NFL and even some players from my hometown, the Pouncey twins [Maurkice and Mike]. I’m definitely going to keep them high on my list because it’s close to home.”
The former Alabama commit decided to reopen his recruitment on Jan. 26. Florida offensive line coach John Hevesy serves as the primary recruiter for Hammond, who first received an offer from Hevesy in May 2017 when he was an assistant at Mississippi State.
“The way their offensive line coach is, I like him,” Hammond said of Hevesy. “He wants the team to be great and he seems like a really good coach. He’s truthful. He tells me everything straightforward. He doesn’t BS around, but he’s also a cool dude.”
Hammond last visited Florida as a sophomore and hopes to return to campus this summer. His former teammate at Lakeland High School, James Robinson, has spoken to him about the program.
Robinson was a member of Florida’s 2017 class, but never suited up for the Gators because of a career-ending heart condition.
“I’ve talked to James and he told me it’s great up there,” Hammond said of Robinson, who is pursuing his degree. “He told me everything is really nice and the staff treats them well. It’s like a family up there, so I want to take another visit.
“I don’t have a date yet, but possibly over the summer. I just want to see what the new coaching staff has going on there and what their plans are for the team. I’m looking forward to seeing how they do this season.”
The 6-foot-4, 320-pound lineman is ranked the nation’s No. 3 guard and No. 39 overall recruit in the 247Sports composite. In addition to Alabama and Florida, Hammond also holds offers from Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Miami.
“I’ll make a decision during my senior year,” he said. “I want to pick a college where I feel at home and actually feel the love from everybody on campus. I want to be somewhere where I’m comfortable and not worried about anything.
“Going from freshman year with no offers to becoming a top offensive guard my junior year, it’s definitely still surreal. Sometimes I have to slow it down because the recruiting process can get overwhelming. It’s going to be a big decision.”
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