YUKON — You won't hear Yukon's Andre Dowuona-Hammond complaining about the list of football programs recruiting him.
When Harvard, Yale and the Air Force Academy offer an opportunity to attend their schools, the prestige is hard to ignore.
Yukon's 6-foot-2, 235-pound defensive end, rated No. 28 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 recruiting ranking for the class of 2014, knows an education from such places would pay off for a lifetime.
Dowuona-Hammond has a desire to pursue work in the sports medicine or pharmacy fields after college, and he understands the value of education.
“His grade-point average is so high, and to me, that's a sign of the total package,” Yukon coach Todd Wilson said. “Not only is he a really good football player, but he works really hard in the classroom.”
But like many athletes, the drive to play at the highest level also pushes Dowuona-Hammond as he continues to hear from programs like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
“Hopefully I can improve my recruiting opportunities by going to a couple of camps, and with my play during the season,” he said. “I don't have a problem with the Ivy League schools or Air Force, but I don't want to make a decision too early. I want to feel it out.
“When you graduate from an Ivy League school, or Air Force, you're set for life after that.”
On the field, Dowuona-Hammond combines speed and power with a good understanding of how to use his hands, and a quick burst at the snap.
Wilson views him as an ideal defensive end prospect, but some colleges view him as a linebacker.
“I think I'll end up playing linebacker in college, because of my size,” said Dowuona-Hammond, who has started for Yukon since he was a sophomore. “So I want to improve my feet to be ready for that. And it will help me this year getting off the ball.”
As a junior, he recorded 34 tackles, four quarterback sacks and one interception, often being the focal point of the opposing offense.
“In the right system, I wouldn't bet against him playing on the defensive line,” Wilson said. “If a 3-4 team wanted him, I could see him being one of those stand-up defensive end/outside linebacker guys. He's so good with his hand down, I could see someone taking him, putting some weight on him, and him being a really good defensive lineman.
Dowuona-Hammond has spent some time at linebacker during 7-on-7 workouts this summer, and he would occasionally drop into pass coverage from his defensive end spot.
“You watch him at linebacker in 7-on-7, and you think, ‘Man, he's pretty good there,'” Wilson said. “To me, he's dominant with his hand down, because of the way he uses his hands, and how he gets off the ball.
“If somebody wants his skill set, they'll plug him in and develop him into whatever they want him to be.”
No. 28: Andre Dowuona-Hammond
Position: Defensive end
Recruited by: Offers from Air Force, Harvard and Yale, with growing interest from a variety of bigger Division I programs.