Trying to Pick Up the Pace

Demartha (MD) wide receiver Jesstin Hamm runs good routes, has strong hands and can burst off the line of scrimmage, all things he showed at Wisconsin's high school camp. The problem is, Hamm isn't the fastest horse in the race, something he is working hard to change to improve his recruiting stock.

MADISON - Each position on the football field has certain characteristics attached to it, characteristics a player needs to have to excel at that position. Quarterbacks need a strong arm, cornerbacks need good footwork and hip movement and running backs need good vision and strength.

Jesstin Hamm is finding out the hard way that wide receivers need a good 40-yard dash time.

A solid route runner and a big target (6-foot-3, 180 pounds) off the line of scrimmage, Hamm has the credentials to be a Division 1 player, except for his 4.69 40-yard dash time.

With college coaches hoping to see the Dematha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD) receiver shave some time off his sprint, Hamm has been focused with his speed trainer, making changes to his strides to help him shave off the tenth that's keeping him from a multitude of offers.

"I've taped part of my workouts to show (coaches) that I work hard," Hamm told Badger Nation. "They see that and they know I am going to work hard."

Hamm has also shown his work ethic in person during the summer circuit, traveling to camps at Connecticut, Duke, Wake Forest and Wisconsin. At the Badgers' camp, Hamm worked extensively during UW's first high school camp with receivers coach, recruiting contact and tour guide DelVaughn Alexander.

"I thought the camp went really well and one of the main reasons I came was because I have a very good relationship with Coach Alexander," Hamm said. "I sent him my tape a long time ago and he wanted to see me at camp. He showed me around the whole campus and when I say we toured the whole campus, it was the whole campus. He showed me everything and I really like it there."

In order to improve his skills, Hamm changed his stance to get more of an explosion at the snap of the football. Early feedback seems to indicate the move was successful.

"I ran routes well, (Coach Alexander) said, but I am not a fast 40 (yard dash) runner. The things I did really well were my route running, which helps make up for my speed, and my hand strength. Coach Alexander said my hands were really strong. I thought I got off the line well when I was being pressed and the coaches said I did that the best, especially for a tall guy like me being able to shake somebody off the line."

Hamm has garnered interest from Cincinnati, Connecticut, Duke, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple and Wake Forest among others.

Still, Hamm is waiting for his first offer, which can't be too far away. In order to show coaches his 40-yard dash isn't what it seems, Hamm is running the 40-yard dash in two weeks at Virginia's camp.

If something doesn't stem from that, both Connecticut and Wisconsin informed Hamm that an offer could come in the early weeks of his season, after both coaching staff evaluates how he performs against the competition.

"I feel it's just a matter of time," Hamm said. "If I can get my 40 time down, I think some more schools will offer. A lot of people want to see my in pads and how I do my first couple guys to get a quick look at me. I am not discouraged, but I am still going to keep working. I had never really focused on running a 40-yard dash until a few months ago."

Hamm will keep an open mind over the next few months and wait for the first school to make an offer. No matter when they offer, however, Hamm knows Wisconsin will be one of his favorites.

"I am going to be patient with them because I like them," Hamm said. "If an offer comes, I think it will be at the beginning of the season. As for being down there for a few days, seeing the campus and meeting the coaches, it will be definitely be one of my top schools, especially because of the academic prestige Wisconsin has."

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