Air Force could be without its star quarterback if it plays the 2020 football season.
“Donald Hammond is no longer a cadet in good standing and cannot represent the academy in outside activities,” Air Force said in a statement to The Gazette.
No information was provided Saturday for the violation that led to Hammond’s drop in status. Other athletes who have dropped in status have missed at least a season’s worth of competition. This list includes recent football players Cole Fagan, David Cormier and Brandon Lewis and women’s basketball player Kassady Huffman.
Hammond, a senior, ran and passed for 13 touchdowns in 2019 as he led the team to an 11-2 record, a Cheez-It Bowl victory and a No. 22 ranking in the final Associated Press poll. He rose to the starting role early in his sophomore season and had set the foundation to thrust himself into the conversation of Air Force’s top all-time quarterbacks. He has 18 career touchdown passes vs. seven interceptions and has run for 865 yards and 20 scores.
He earned a spot on the Davey O’Brien Award watch list this past week and has been a second- or third-team all-Mountain West preseason selection by multiple publications.
The potential loss of Hammond leaves the all-important quarterback spot devoid of experience, as seniors Isaiah Sanders and Mike Schmidt graduated in April.
Junior Warren Bryan emerged from spring practice as the likely No. 2, though junior Chance Stevenson, sophomores Haaziq Danield, Zachary Larrier, Max Massingale could also compete for the job.
“If I were to go down, we’d still be in good hands,” Hammond told The Gazette after watching his fellow quarterbacks in a spring scrimmage.