After all, Hammonds (5-11, 200) rushed for 872 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 44 passes for 1,139 yards and 12 more scores last season while lining up at both tailback and wide receiver.
Hammonds, who chose Arkansas out of 21 offers, averaged 15 yards per carry and 26 yards per catch in 2014 for a team that started 4-0 and ended up 6-5.
But Senators head coach Todd Eskola knows he has added two more offensive weapons in junior Miles Fells (5-11, 180) - a transfer from Pulaski Academy - and highly-touted sophomore Nathan Page (5-11, 170) that will take the pressure off of Hammonds.
“The biggest change from last season is that T.J. was the man and everybody concentrated simply on him when trying to stop us,” Eskola said. “They won’t be able to do that this season because of the players here now.
“T.J. will still have a target on his back from being an Arkansas commit, but he’s going to have some guys out there this season that will help us share the wealth.
“We are going to try and get these three guys the ball as much as possible in as many different ways as possible.”
Hammonds, whose Class 4A team opens its season at Bauxite and host Class7A-West Rogers Heritage in week three, has shown a tremendous work ethic this summer and into preseason camp.
“Brian Maupin, our strength coach and director of college recruiting, ran our workouts this summer and had over 50 kids there every morning at 6 a.m.
“T.J. was one of the leaders of that group and was there day in and day out. He and the entire squad are in great shape so we haven’t had to worry about that in practice. We can just get out there and get our business done on the practice field and then not have to worry about all that running after practice.
“T.J. has a great work ethic and is in fantastic shape. He is an extremely fast young man that can get full speed in about three steps and go 80 yards on each touch. He has great vision and just has a nose for the end zone.”
“Our team really bonded during that week and really did the whole military thing – up at 5 a.m., right to work and never letting up all day,” Eskola said.
“I must tell you that the two hours of practice we had during the day were the easiest part of the day for the players. They really looked forward to that and saw it as a kind of a break.
“All of our guys for sure now know how hard the military life and work is. I think it made the game more fun for us.”
The trigger man for the Senators offense will be senior quarterback Brennan Johnson (6-0, 180).
“Brennan has passed for over 2,000 yards and rushed for over 1,000 yard in each of the last two seasons,” Eskola said. “He is excited about having all these weapons around him this season.”
“The Pulaski Academy coaches told us that he was the best one they had last season in terms of sheer talent,” Eskola said. “He has great speed and is going to have some big plays for us this season.”
But perhaps the player with the most potential on the team is Page, the young sophomore who was a shining star in 7-on-7 action this summer.
“I don’t say things like this very lightly, but I have been coaching for 21 years and I have never seen a player with as much athletic ability and potential as Nathan has,” Eskola said.
“He’s about 5-11 right now, but if he grows to about 6-3 by the time he gets to be a senior, he will have a scholarship offer from every major football team in America.
“Coaches were coming up to me at the Garrett Uekman Tournament and saying that he was best player on the field,” Eskola said. “Not the best sophomore, but the best player.
“He has a chance to be more than special. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are about coaching him.”
It also doesn’t hurt at all that the Senators will have a much bigger offensive line to run behind this season.
“Last season we had to start two offensive lineman that weighed 150 pounds with weights in their hands,” Eskola said. “I kid you not.
“But this season we have eight guys that are over 240. It’s a major difference to have that size on the offensive line.”
Pulaski Robinson is picked second in the Class 4-4A conference this season by Hooten’s Arkansas Football, who tabbed Dardanelle to win the league.
“We go from one conference last season to the 4-4A so we went from a finesse conference to one that had power football teams like Dardanelle, Pottsville, Dover and Clinton,” Eskola said. “We just were not physically ready for that last season and it showed.
“We are ready to compete this season because we are bigger and more physical.”
After opening at Bauxite and then following with a trip to Central Arkansas Christian, the Senators will host Rogers Heritage.
“We had an open date the third week of the season and needed to find somebody to play,” Eskola said. “I am sure some people are thinking I am crazy for scheduling a 7A team that was just a touchdown away from playing in the semifinals of the playoffs last season and have nine starters back on both sides of the football.
“Maybe I am, but we’ll give it our best shot and just see what happens. We’ll definitely learn a lot about ourselves those first three weeks.”
Pulaski Robinson will be trying to win its first league title since 2005.
“These is the year that these guys and our coaches have been pointing toward,” Eskola said. “They took a lot of lumps two seasons ago, made some strides last season and now it’s there for us. We just have to go to work.”