Dominick Hernandez is a West Coast standout who brings loads of versatility to the football field.
The 5-foot-8, 140-pound Hernandez is an elite running back, receiver, defensive back and safety from the Sacramento, CA area.
For Hernandez, football is much more than a game. It represents something way more meaningful.
“Football has taught me so much about life, like taking the good from people on the field and leaving the bad,” Hernandez said. “Also: be humble, don’t talk trash, show them your ability, pick yourself up when you're down emotionally, earn what you want, work hard for what you want and lead by example. The list goes on and on.”
Hernandez doesn’t let any outside forces affect his focus on the field.
“What sets me apart from other athletes is my mind set, the way I think, the way I can find holes in the line and my downfield vision,” Hernandez said. “Also I know I’m not the biggest kid on the field but I can hit harder then the big kids because I’m not scared. Plus, I’m humble.”
Hernandez is extremely modest and tries to set a standard of humbleness for his teammates to follow.
“Being a good teammate for me is mostly telling the guys good job, help pick them up when they are getting down on themselves but also like my dad says, don’t talk trash. I don’t talk trash to the other teams,” Hernandez said. “Dad says if you talk trash you’re trash, so I stay humble. I’m also a little shy so I’m not big on receiving compliments, so I tell myself and the other guys just go out there and show them you’re good. Don’t tell them you’re good. Don’t chase compliments or recognition. Just do the best you can every play and if you make a mistake own it and move on.”
Hernandez goes above and beyond practicing in order to get better. Hernandez has an individual workout plan that he adheres to.
“I see a personal trainer 4 days a week but at home I do 100 squats and 300 pushups a day,” Hernandez said.
The dynamic Hernandez once amazingly amassed 3 pick 6s and 2 touchdowns in a single game.
Hernandez sees some similarities between himself and last season’s Heisman Trophy winner.
“My favorite player is DeVonta Smith because we are a lot alike,” Hernandez said. “He’s short like me and relies on his speed and change of direction like I do.”
Hernandez finds a lot of fulfillment whenever he takes the field.
“What I love about playing is that superstar feeling you get when you made a good run and you hear the fans yelling your name and the announcer calling out your number and name. They’re funny sometimes when you're on your home field and you make a great run or catch or tackle,” Hernandez said. “I also like the hitting, nothing like getting that hard hit on someone and feeling like yes! You get up feeling invincible (laughs) but sometimes the very next play you get hammered (laughs) but that’s how it goes.”
Hernandez gives credit to his coaches for teaching him about how to succeed not just on the field but in life.
“All of my skills have come from all of my coaches. I owe everything to them and have learned everything from them. My dad says life’s not fair. I might feel like I earned something that I didn’t get but get used to it because that’s life and the sooner you get over that the better off you will be,” Hernandez said. “You don’t need the awards to know you’re good. It's the high fives from my teammates and the hugs in the end zone that matter.”
One coach in particular has left a strong impression on Hernandez.
“The best advice I’ve gotten from a coach was to shake it off, forget the last play and move on,” Hernandez said. “As a young kid it’s easy to get down on yourself but coach Jason Swayne was always there to teach me to not be so hard on myself when I mess up, which has carried me through a lot.”
Hernandez brings the same approach on the field regardless of any other circumstances.
“My mindset is each play, I treat it like this is the most important play of the game because to me it is. The last play no longer matters. I have to do my best right now for myself but more importantly for my team. I don’t want to let them down,” Hernandez said. “In the showcases my mindset is to not mess up, don’t let these guys down and I need to focus on the little things more because I’m usually playing a position I’m not as familiar with.”
Hernandez has been selected for a variety of accolades, including the Diamond Sports Group All-Star team, Football Hotbed All-Star team, and FBU Bay Area and FBU Sacramento selections.
‘These awards and invites mean everything to me. They make me believe in myself more but they also mean that I have what it takes to play at that D-1 level and maybe even go further than that,” Hernandez said. ‘I know not everyone has these opportunities so I’m proud that others recognize my abilities and that I have what it takes to even be noticed.”
Hernandez recalls a special football moment that he cherishes.
“Best memory is probably when I was playing RB. I took the snap then the QB sprinted down the field and I dropped a beautiful 30 yard pass eight over his shoulder and he ran it in for a touchdown,” Hernandez said. “I felt like I was just soaked in swag at that moment.”
Hernandez’s favorite subjects in school are P.E. and math. Hernandez lists Oregon, UCLA, and UNLV as the colleges that he’s most interested in.
Prior to college, Hernandez is setting some benchmarks to strive for in high school.
“Goals for high school would be to break the deadlift record, and break the record for touchdowns and yards,” Hernandez said.
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