The Hammer Returns

Fullback/linebacker prospect Cody Hammer (6-0, 218, 4.6), someone the University of Arkansas and others are keeping tabs on, will join his Fayetteville teammates on the field Tuesday as spring practice gets underway for the defending Class 7A state champions.

Fayetteville High's Cody Hammer and his teammates start spring practice on Tuesday, but it seems like just yesterday he had on his pads and was living up to his name.

That was when the 2009 Fayetteville High fullback/linebacker prospect was pounding the Springdale Har-Ber defense to the tune of 32 carries for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns in his team's Class 7A state championship game win.

That included Hammer (6-0, 218, 4.6) toting the ball on his team's final 21 plays of what turned into a 28-7 victory over the Wildcats on Nov. 24 before 4,221 fans at Little Rock's War Memorial Stadium.

"I feel like since that last game that I have just stayed in a football mode and I have just stayed ready to play," Hammer said. "They have pushed us in the off-season a little bit harder than usual, but that's just fine because we can't let up. Just because we won state last year doesn't mean we want to win it any less this year."

That effort is one of the reasons that Hammer, a teammate of current UA offensive line commit Colby Berna (6-4, 275), is on the watch list of several D-1 football programs.

Arkansas has expressed a lot of interest in Hammer and he was invited with some other 2009 prospects for unofficial visits in March and then was back for the school's official Junior Day on April 26.

"I also got a letter from Alabama the other day and have gotten interest from Kansas State, Tulsa, North Carolina and Mississippi State," Hammer said.

Hammer has redefined his body over the course of the off-season.

"I have lost some pounds, losing fat and gaining muscle," Hammer said. "I have gone from 220 to 218, but my bench max is going up and I look a lot better."

Because of injuries, Hammer spent most of last season at linebacker before getting healthy and being a force in the backfield as well.

"They have talked to me both about going both ways and also talked about just going one way and using me every now and then on the other side," Hammer said. "I know I had better be in great shape in case I do go both ways."

Whether it is as a fullback or linebacker, Hammer wants to be ready for a banner senior season to build on the junior season in which the school won its first gridiron state championship in 103 years.

"I am trying to get better at everything, especially my quickness," Hammer said. "And I am also trying to push everybody and be a leader. We want to do it again."

Cody Hammer

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