Life has been more relaxed for University of Arkansas junior tight end commitment Jaden Hamm since he pledged to the Hogs on Aug. 14.
"The stress level has gone down a lot, and not having to worry so much about my seasons in the near future," Hamm said.
Hamm, 6-6, 225 pounds, of Eudora, Kan., picked the Hogs over 12 other scholarship offers from Michigan, Tennessee, Penn State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Nebraska, TCU, Iowa State and others.
He and his mother visited Fayetteville on June 26.
"I built a great relationship with the staff, and when I came for my unofficial it felt like home from the jump," said Hamm, who attended the Rice game Saturday.
The Hogs giving assurance they would honor his scholarship in case of an injury was big for Hamm.
"They are in the SEC, and they said they would honor my scholarship," he said.
Hamm believes Arkansas is able to offer student-athletes more than others.
"They offered some pretty big things other schools obviously couldn't bring to the table," he said. "The weight program at Arkansas is probably one of the best I have seen."
College coaches were able to directly reach out to junior prospects for the first time at 12:01 Wednesday morning. Arkansas and several other schools reached out to Hamm with recruiting graphics Wednesday.
"I mainly just leave them unopened, or I'll say I appreciate the graphic but I'm committed," Hamm said of other schools' efforts.
Hamm, who had 61 tackles at defensive end as a sophomore, had an instant connection with tight ends coach Dowell Loggains.
"I think it was just our personality match," he said. "We both are outgoing, and we opened up to each other over the phone after the visit and we just got to know each other personally really quickly."
The day before Hamm's pledge, Loggains received a commitment from ESPN 4-star Ashdown junior tight end Shamar Easter.
Hamm's mother was on board with his decision after feeling a connection with Coach Sam Pittman.
"Coach Pittman really reminded her of an uncle of hers when she was little and she felt the same -- it's home," he said.
He's also a standout on the hardwood for Eudora while playing spring and summer basketball.
ESPN rates Hamm a 4-star prospect football prospect, the No. 8 tight end and No. 232 overall recruit for the 2023 class. National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network is also high on Hamm.
"Jaden is 4-star tight end with good size, great hands and speed," Lemming said. "Can flex out but can also block. Exceptional athlete."
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