Griffin Hammer already knew where he was going to play his college football. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound three-star tight end committed to Colorado State in the summer when he was so impressed by the school during on offseason unofficial visit that he pledged to Mike Bobo and the Rams.
So Hammer's official visit last weekend to CSU was simply icing on the cake. It provided him time to enjoy the trip without the stresses of overanalyzing every aspect of the program.
According to Hammer, his second go-around in Fort Collins provided him another chance to get to know CSU's personnel on a closer level.
"Meeting with all the coaches, because I didn't get to do that the first time," Hammer told InsideTheRams.com of his visit highlights. "It was only Coach Bobo and Coach (Jamie) Bryant there last time. I really got a good chance to meet with all the coaches, like my position coach, Coach (Joe) Cox. Obviously, seeing the new stadium when I was there earlier - there really wasn't that much done. This time, I really got to see the ends and outs of it."
Hammer said he didn't try to do any recruiting of his own on the trip. Rather, he let the program and coaches do that.
"I think the campus and the whole program, the coaches... it all speaks for itself. I mean, the team is on the rise and a lot of the guys (recruits) there saw that and they wanted in."
CSU freshman quarterback Collin Hill served as his player-host. Hammer said he hit things off with the players as well as the coaches. The theme of a family atmosphere has been brought up by every recruit who visited last weekend, and it's something Hammer reiterated.
"The whole team is really goal-driven. They have a good vision of what they want for the future. They're all real positive individuals and I'm really looking forward to the seasons coming."
The skilled pass catcher will join the CSU program in January, in time to familiarize himself with the program and immerse himself in Ryan Davis' offseason Fourth Quarter program.
Hammer may be asked to come in immediately with two graduating senior tight ends and see some significant playing time. Having played almost exclusively wide receiver as a prep, Hammer proved he could be a dynamic possession receiver at the next level.
However, he knows he will need to improve as a blocker if he wants to see the field in Mike Bobo's run-heavy offense. In a sit down film session with Joe Cox on his visit, Hammer was reassured he will have to work hard to see the field, but he has a very bright future in the Green and Gold.
"Obviously, with my style of offense in high school I was more of a split out wide receiver. I didn't do a lot of blocking, so they know they're going to have to develop that game more," Hammer explained. "But they're also excited because I bring a threat to the game and I present mismatch situations with other teams, I guess, in passing situations."
His biggest goals once he arrives on campus, he said, are learning the offense and the tight end position.
"I also need to get in the weight room and put on weight, so I can be a big blocker."
CSU has not used tight ends as much in the passing game, or at least they haven't seen a great deal of production on the stat sheet. Hammer said he isn't worried about that.
"From what he (Cox) was saying, I'm not going to be used like a lot of tight ends in the past. They're going to be splitting me out, putting me in the slot, putting me on the line. So I'm really excited about how they're going to use me at tight end.
What is Hammer most excited about in joining the CSU program next month?
"Just the bright future ahead. It's a proud program and I'm really excited to get bowl wins in the future."
Hammer missed two games due to a kidney injury as a senior, but still earned first team all-conference honors at St. Charles (Ill.) North. He caught 24 passes for 424 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016.