GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Former NFL receiver Plaxico Burress was one of the coaches for the 2016 Under Armour All-America Game in January.
He worked with the wideouts on Team Armour, which featured Tyrie Cleveland, Nate Craig-Myers and Sam Bruce.
It also included Florida early enrollee Joshua Hammond of Hallandale (Fla.), who had one of the most consistent weeks of practice among the team’s receivers.
“I had a chance to work with him, and I think he’s a great talent,” Burress said of Hammond. “He’s very explosive and has great speed. He basically has all the qualities you need to be a good wide receiver.”
One of those qualities is Hammond’s work ethic, which caught the attention of Burress right away.
“He’s a very coachable guy, and that’s something that attracted me to him from the jump,” Burress said. “Every time I saw him on the practice field, he was working hard.
“I just liked that he was always receptive to information. He definitely wants to get better, but he has all the talent in the world. The sky is the limit for him.”
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder enrolled at UF last month and will go through spring practice. He’s looking to make an immediate impact for the Gators.
“I’m trying to be another weapon on the field and just be effective so we can try to throw the ball a lot,” Hammond said. “I want to get acclimated to the system and learn the playbook as much as I can, and then go from there.”
Hammond’s older brother is former Florida wide receiver Frankie Hammond, now with the Kansas City Chiefs. The two don’t talk much about football, but they do try to compete with each other.
“He gives me something to look forward to,” Hammond said of his brother’s UF career. “He set the bar real high for me, and he always wants me to do better. I always mess with him about his senior year in high school because he had like 900 yards (receiving) and I had over a 1,000.”
When asked who’s better, the younger Hammond said, “I am.” With a big grin, he added that his sibling does “nothing” better than him.
He doesn’t share the same hunger for donuts as his older brother, whose Krispy Kreme obsession earned him the nickname “Hot Light Hammond” in college.
“I eat them, but Frankie’s on another level,” Hammond said. “I love chicken wings. I can eat that seven days a week.”
The nickname “Hot Sauce Hammond” has already caught fire for the true freshman. Favorite foods aside, Burress said Hammond will benefit from the foundation his brother set for him.
“It’s huge,” he said. “For him to have a brother that’s playing at the elite level, which I’m almost positive he wants to do as well, it’s just going to give him that extra push. Every kid that’s as good as him probably has a dream to make it to the NFL, and his brother is going to help him get there.”