Waiting for the battle to begin, LaDerrick Hammond gets into position then looks the enemy in the eyes.
The Jefferson County strong safety tries to psych out receivers, chanting and talking to them. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t. But it always helps Hammond gain courage.
“I just think, ‘Don’t get beat.’ And I try to get in their heads. Most don’t listen, but it’s good to do that when you’re a defensive player. I just talk to them, stuff that you shouldn’t say,” Hammond said with a laugh.
Hammond is a warrior. During the week, he listens to his chiefs, including coach J.B. Arnold. Come Friday, the senior is well prepared and ready to help his tribe defend a slant pattern, a lob or a run play.
Because he started playing football in recreation leagues, Hammond has been groomed as a warrior. He’s not afraid of contact or conflict, as the 112 tackles he recorded as a junior prove. A physical player, Hammond is happy to handle the rough hitting and tackling so his team can win the battle.
“I learn that from being in it a lot,” Hammond said about being physical. “That carries to me on the field because I’m a very wild person. On the field it helps a lot.”