Air Force star quarterback Donald Hammond might have played his last down for the Falcons.
In a statement released to the Colorado Springs Gazette on July 19, Air Force said, “Donald Hammond is no longer a cadet in good standing and cannot represent the academy in outside activities.”
No further information was released about Hammond’s violation that prompted his demotion. According to the Gazette, recent football players that had a similar drops in status include Cole Fagan, David Cormier and Brandon Lewis, who all missed at least one season of play.
Hammond was the catalyst for Air Force in 2019, leading the Falcons to an 11-2 record and No. 22 finish in the Associated Press‘s final poll. Their only losses were road games against ranked foes, including a 30-19 loss at No. 23 Boise State and a 34-25 setback at No. 20 Navy.
Nine of Air Force’s 11 victories came by double-digit margins. The Falcons went 2-0 against Pac-12 competition, winning 30-23 at Colorado and knocking off Washington State 31-21 in the Cheez-It Bowl.
Hammond rushed for 553 yards and 13 touchdowns last season, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He completed 56-of-111 passes (50.5%) for 1,316 yards with a 13/6 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
In 2018, Hammond played in nine games, rushing for 374 yards and nine TDs while averaging 4.5 YPC. He completed 38-of-72 throws for 623 yards with a 5/2 TD-INT ratio.
Lindy’s preseason magazine has Hammond as the first-team All-Mountain West Conference QB.
Junior QB Warren Bryan appeared to be No. 2 on the depth chart during spring practice. He has zero experience, though.
Brad Powers, one of the sharpest college football handicappers in the industry, thinks the loss of Hammond is worth at least four points to Air Force’s overall power rating.
Troy Calhoun’s team is scheduled to open at home on Sept. 5 vs. FCS foe, Duquesne. With the Big Ten cancelling non-conference games, the Falcons lost their Sept. 19 game at Purdue.
DraftKings has Air Force with 1,000/1 odds to win the College Football Playoff.