A Different Kind of Mission

For most high school juniors, the summer camp circuit is the one thing that stands between them and the big time BCS offers. Boardman (Ohio) wide receiver Dayne Hammond knows that, but one of the best young receivers in Ohio has a more important thing to do.

MADISON - For the top echelon of high school juniors, the recruiting process is mostly easy. Having a wealth of scholarship offers, the best of the best can take their time, visit school, sift through the options and make a decision.

For the rest of the juniors, the summer is a struggle to impress the BCS schools, driving long hours in the car to take an unofficial visit for the chance to be seen and to travel around the country to participate in grueling summer camps with the dream of earning a scholarship offer that could change their life.

Dayne Hammond is one of those dreamers and would normally have a busy summer camp schedule so he could improve his stock in the eyes of BCS coaching staffs. But the 6-foot-5, 195-pound receiver from Boardman (Ohio) High has something bigger on his plate.

Heading with a church group to Kampala, Uganda, Hammond will spend most of July helping build a church and spread religion throughout the capitol of the African landlocked country.

"One of the major things for me is being able to talk to people who don't have as much as I have and don't have the chance," Hammond told Badger Nation. "I have a passion for children, and I think it's going to be a great experience to be enlightened."

So to make up for lost time, Hammond is hitting the road often over the next three months, including a spot last weekend at Wisconsin to not only take a closer look at the University of Wisconsin, but to watch his older brother, Chase, compete in the spring game.

"I really enjoyed the visit and watching my brother play," Hammond said. "I feel I get to see some things that other people don't get a chance to see because they don't know many of the players. I've more on a friend level than some of the recruits are because of my brother, so I feel more comfortable around them. I feel like I fit in more.

"I really like the campus, it's a great campus, and I love the program. I think it's 10 times better because my brother is one the field."

Having seen Hammond while recruiting his older brother, recruiting coordinator Joe Rudolph has open the lines of communication with Dayne, as the two talk ‘often.' Still, Hammond says the good recruiting information has come from his older brother.

"He told me that the coaches are really interested and that I need to have a good first couple games so the coaches have more film on me," Hammond said. "They said one of the major things is that they like their receivers to have some size, and I am skinny. It's something I need to work on."

As a result, Hammond has worked on increasing his size, but doesn't stray too far from his routine. Although admittedly a different player that his brother, Hammond doesn't feel that's a bad thing in the least.

"In my eyes, Chase is more of a receiver that is just going to catch the ball, run in a straight line and get there by running straight," Hammond said. "I feel I am more agile than him, and I'd rather run around a tackle than go through a tackle. I feel like that's the big difference between us. We also have a little different personality, him being quieter and me being a vocal guy.

"If Wisconsin offers me a scholarship, it won't be because of my name, but because of the hard work I have put in."

One of the top wide receiver prospects in Ohio for 2012, Hammond caught over 70 passes for over 800 yards and seven touchdowns, being a big benefactor with Chase being out of the lineup. He also grabbed three interceptions from his safety spot.

In addition to his interest from Wisconsin, Hammond has Division 1 offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Ohio and Toledo and FCS offer from Youngstown State.

He's also getting heavy interest from Duke and Notre Dame, two schools he believes might come close to offering in the future.

"I received a call from the Notre Dame coach a couple days ago and he wants me to come up and visit," Hammond said. "He's watched my film a couple times and wants to look over it again. Duke wants me to come down to a spring practice … so I am going to visit at the beginning of next month."

Like the tough process of picking which school to commit to, Hammond admits that it was a challenge to pick a mission trip over the potential of impressing coaches in summer camps.

"It was tough at first thinking I was going to miss out on a chance to get my name out," Hammond said, "but the more I looked at it, it's going to make me a better person. If colleges aren't interested in me becoming a better person, then I am not quite sure I'd fit (at that school)."


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