2023 defensive tackle Jason Hammond Jr. went out to the practice fields for St. Thomas Aquinas High School to get better and prepare for his teams next game.
As he took the field, St. Thomas Aquinas defensive line coach Jason Taylor had a message for him that made this practice a bit different. Hammond was informed that Pitt defensive line coach Charlie Partridge would be at practice and planned to have his eye on him.
“I was ecstatic when I found out that he would be there and wanted to watch how I practice and watch me do drills,” Hammond told PSN. “I actually bumped into him at school earlier in the day as I was rushing to class, I saw him with his Pitt shirt on.”
“At the beginning of practice, my defensive line coach Jason Taylor pulled me aside and said be on your A game today. If you’ve ever done your drills at 100%, you need to do 110% today.”
Mission accomplished because at the end of practice, Hammond got the word that his latest Power Five offer was from Pitt. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound 3-star defensive tackle has also received offers from Wake Forest, Syracuse, Ole Miss, Maryland, Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky.
“I was ecstatic. Pitt has been one of the top schools on my list because they always known for producing NFL caliber defensive lineman. Coach Partridge has such a great reputation and track record. Pitt has actually been a school that I’ve been interested in since my sophomore season so it was really nice to get it.”
“I consider one of my biggest strengths is that I’m a leader. I like to help my teammates with anything I can do and I’m not a selfish player,” said Hammond. “I like to count on my teammates to do their job and when they don’t do that I like to let them know that. Making mistakes isn’t the end of the world and everyone has room for improvement. Physically, my speed and quickness off the ball are my strengths. I’m equally strong at stopping the run and getting after the passer. Coach Taylor lets me stand up sometimes to get after the passer because I’m that flexible as a player. I appreciate that Coach Taylor uses me like that.”
Mid Season Highlights check it out ! @CoachHarriott @coachs3132 @JasonTaylor @OLIE_7 @EugeneBethea1 @STA_Football @J_Nelson1 @SoFloFront7 @RWrightRivals @coachRon18 @STARSMP1 @craftinglinemen https://t.co/y1jPdU2DdQ
— Jason II (@JasonHammondJR) September 27, 2021
Hammond mentioned his defensive line coach a lot during our conversation and credits him for the development he’s made over the last year. It’s not often that a high school player is able to coached by a Hall of Fame NFL player.
“I actually transferred here from Chaminade Madonna during the spring and since then, I can’t even explain how much Coach Taylor has improved my game and fixed all the little things. One of my goals coming into the summer was to work on my flexibility and my hips. He helped me with all of that and my stance. Coach Taylor is the absolute best and don’t know a better defensive line coach in the country than Coach Taylor.”
Hammond would like to make a trip to visit the Pitt football program and tells PSN that he plans on visiting Wake Forest, West Virginia, Syracuse and Central Florida later on this year.