T.J. Hammonds

Arkansas football
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Arkansas places RB T.J. Hammonds back on scholarship

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The up-and-down career of one Arkansas football player is on the uptick.

In late February of last year, then-head coach Chad Morris confirmed that T.J. Hammonds was not a part of his Arkansas football team “right now” as the running back looked to get his academic house in order.  Three months later, Hammonds was back with the program.

In late August, however, Morris announced that Hammonds would be suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season.  Hammonds ultimately returned for the fifth game of the 2019 campaign.  Upon his initial return in May, however, Hammonds had his scholarship stripped.

Morris, though, was fired.  Wednesday, Morris’ replacement confirmed that Hammonds is back on scholarship.

We’re happy to be able to do that,” Sam Pittman said about the move. “He’s fast. He’s got a lot of speed. You can beat two ways as far as physically. You can beat them with speed or you can beat them bigness. You can eat them with large humans. Right now it’s a little faster for us to get fast guys than it is get a whole team of big guys.

“He’s fast, but the bottom line is he did what we asked him to do in school and he did what we asked him to do in the offseason in the eight-week program when we were here. He’s athletic and he did what we asked him to do so, in my opinion, he earned the right to get his scholarship back.”

His first three seasons with the Razorbacks, three seasons, Hammonds, a four-star 2016 signee, ran for 378 yards and two touchdowns on 57 carries. Just 28 of those yards came in 2018, although he did catch four passes for 84 yards and a touchdown that season.

After returning from his suspension last season, Hammonds ran for 65 yards and caught four passes for 10 yards.  He’ll be a fifth-year senior in 2020.

Arkansas coughs up 18-point third-quarter lead, loses to Colorado State

Colorado State vs. Arkansas college football
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The second leg of the Chad Morris era in Fayetteville hit a bit of an unexpected speedbump in Fort Collins Saturday night.

A 64-yard Cole Kelley touchdown pass to T.J. Hammonds with 7:28 left in the third quarter gave Arkansas a 27-9 lead over homestanding Colorado State.  Over the next 22:28, however, the Razorbacks were outscored 25-0 as the Rams closed out a come-from-behind 34-27 win.

K.J. Carta-Samuels, the graduate transfer quarterback from Washington, led the comeback as he tossed a pair of touchdowns, one late in the third and the other early in the fourth, to close the gap to 27-24 with 11:07 left.  A Wyatt Bryan field goal, his fourth make in as many attempts in the game, with 5:19 left tied the game; Izzy Matthews‘ four-yard touchdown run with a mere eight seconds left on the clock was the game-winner.

Amazingly, Arkansas lost despite rushing for 299 yards while holding CSU to 40 on the ground.  Carta-Samuels, however, threw for 389 yards, a performance that proved to be the difference.

Arkansas hadn’t lost to a Group of Five team since stumbling against Toledo in September of 2015.  Conversely, Colorado State beat a Power Five team for the second time in as many years, the first coming in the 2017 season opener against Oregon State.  Most notably, it marks Colorado State’s second-ever win over a team from the SEC, with the first coming in 1992 against LSU.

CSU, whose head coach, Mike Bobo, is the former offensive coordinator at Georgia, had come into the game 0-2 on the season, having lost to Hawaii by nine points in Week 0 and then by 32 to Colorado in Week 1.