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.