Sounds like a nice kid... I'm a bit skeptical, though. He sounds like one of those kids that Brian characterizes, where every place he visits, or is asked about, it's "awesome, great, amazing, etc."
Travis Hawkins Interview
Thomas VanHaaren interviews MD CB Travis Hawkins.
One of the top cornerback recruits on Michigan's board is Travis Hawkins. Travis is 5' 11" 180 pounds, and he runs a 4.42 40. He's considered a 4 star by the recruiting sites, and has only been playing at that position for this year. He's a talented kid, that has a lot of upside on both sides of the ball. Take a look at what he had to say.
TOM: How has your recruitment been so far?
TRAVIS: It’s been going well. I’ve been to Michigan and Oregon on my officials. I was supposed to take one to Penn State this past weekend, but our game was cancelled because of a power outage so I couldn’t go. I’m going to Maryland and Florida State also.
TOM: What's your favorite part?
TRAVIS: Just knowing that I’m wanted by the top colleges. Some of the calls from the coaches are pretty cool, to talk to guys that are famous. The stuff you have to go through is a lot, but it’ll be worth it.
TOM: Are you down to a top 5 or top 3? Who are they?
TRAVIS: I have a top 5. Maryland, Penn State, Michigan, Oregon, and WVU and Central Florida are in the mix too.
TOM: When narrowing it down to a top 5, what factors in to that?
TRAVIS: Academics are a big part, the environment on game day, my recruiting class is important to me, if I develop a bond with the other recruits. I’m a people person; I want to get along with my future team mates.
TOM: Is everyone recruiting you at cornerback?
TRAVIS: Most schools feel like I can play both sides of the ball, Central Florida will let me decide. Michigan said I can play both sides. Most likely it will be corner; I’m still deciding what I want to play.
TOM: I read that you liked Michigan and Oregon; they seem to be who you talk about most. What stands out with them, and what are the differences?
TRAVIS: Michigan’s academic advisors were the best of any visits. They are really glued to their success. Coach Rodriguez is really relevant, he’s a good coach. Maryland is up there too, and my mom wants me to go there, and stay close to home. The coaches are cool and I really get along with the players too. Oregon is my dream school. I took a visit, and I like the coaches. Their facilities are ridiculous man, and the players are real cool too.
TOM: Do you think that you and Jason Ankrah will be a package deal? Are you both looking at different schools?
TRAVIS: We’d like to be a package deal, but some schools he’s looking at and I’m not. Where ever I go I hope he goes, but it’s not a make or break thing.
TOM: What happened with Penn State? He tried to commit and then didn’t?
TRAVIS: It was a miscommunication between the two; they’ll take him whenever he’s ready. Penn State is everything I’m looking for in a school. We both like it a lot; I’m going to set up another official there soon.
TOM: Is playing early a factor in deciding where you go?
TRAVIS: Yea it is. Most likely I’m going to graduate early; anywhere I go I feel like I could compete, either on offense or defense.
TOM: Has anyone put out any offers with conditions? If we don't get this guy, then we want you?
TRAVIS: No, I haven’t heard any of that. No coaches have put that out there for me, which is good.
TOM: When do you plan on committing?
TRAVIS: My date was November 3rd, but I’m pushing it back to the first week in December, or if I take a couple more officials, I might just commit where ever I feel comfortable.
TOM: Is it hard to stay grounded, and stay focused with your newfound celebrity?
TRAVIS: Not really, I try to put it in the back of my mind. There are a lot of people in my community that look up to me, so it’s good to be known. But you got to know how to handle it. I’m handling it well. The all American stuff, I’ll be playing in the Army All American game. Where ever I go, I’m still going to stay close with the people in my community.
TOM: What do you bring to the table? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
TRAVIS: My aggressiveness is definitely a strength, the way I play both the pass/run, and this is my first year playing corner so they don’t look at my last year’s film. They look more at my potential. They see me playing corner, even though I played safety my junior year.
TOM: What are other coaches saying about Michigan this year?
TRAVIS: Nothing really, they’re having a down year and coaches bring that up. There’s nothing really negative that they say.
TOM: It seems like you've got a good training program for yourself, and you run a 4.42, is there anything you want to improve on for College?
TRAVIS: I want to work on my backpedal, if I work on my start on my 40 I think I could get it faster. I want to learn the skills a little better, since I haven’t played corner too long. Mike Barwis at Michigan was ridiculous. He was saying stuff I’ve never heard of. He had me doing some stuff in the weight room, I couldn’t believe it.
TOM: I can't be too biased, but Michigan will have some of the best facilities in 2010, there’s 110,000 fans at every game, good national TV exposure, the players consistently go to the NFL. Is there anywhere else that compares with what Michigan brings to the table?
TRAVIS: I mean just knowing it’s Michigan, the tradition is crazy. I really like the academics part and the coaches. I talked to Coach Rodriguez a lot he was real cool. So yea it’s a good place to be.
Excellent interview. This kid actually goes to the high school that I went too (Quince Orchard). It's funny cause we have never had elite athletes in sports that mattered at our school...we were more known for our tennis and track, and for being the first public school in the country to have a computer lab...yep, that's the kind of stuff we had to hang our hats on.
He did use a lot of positive adjectives but I think he really hinted strong at Oregon. The Barwis comment was nice...but I'm a little worried about the Oregon stuff. What the hell though...it's freakin OREGON. How good can there facilities be? And it's OREGON. FUCKING OREGON. Miami, LSU...I can understand wanting to go there...But Oregon? There's nothing out there...it sucks. I've never been there and I'm saying without any doubt that state has nothing to offer and sucks to live in. It should be annexed. If I told you it got annexed you'd probably be like "oh shit...really? Damn, I didn't see that" Because it's actually semi-beleivable that we would drop that worthless barely populated state. That state should be on notice...
Lots of Phil Knight Nike dollars pumped into the facilities at Oregon. Their locker room alone is awesome.
Well the state and university are still garbage. If academics really matter then it's a no brainer he comes here...unless by academics he means he wants to be a Park Ranger.
I like the last "question" that really drove the point home about 'hey, our facilities are great too.' You could tell Hawkins tried to dodge it though.
I know that we are all UM homers, but have you been to Oregon? It's beautiful. The campus isn't a lot different from UM's, their facilities are outstanding, and their academics, although they aren't up to UM standards, are still pretty good. And for the football players who aren't looking to become i-bankers or go to med school, they are plenty good.
On the West Coast, UO is highly recognized as a good school, much like an MSU or Indiana is in the midwest - not elite, but good enough to get almost any job that any other kid can get.
the state is really beautiful.
yeah oregon's facilities are ridiculous.
I really like these interviews. They let us get to know our guys before they come here. I hope they are a long-term thing.
Tom, I've read pretty much every article out there on Hawkins. It's obviously difficult to tell based on just words, but from what I can extrapolate, Hawkins just didn't seem very rah-rah about Michigan until I read your interview with him. Did you get the sense from speaking to him that Michigan has a real shot at winning this one?
You can never recruit enough corners, especially with everyone running the spread offense. Hawkins, come on down.
Sounds like Oregon or PSU. Maybe we need HDTVs in our locker room with xboxes, ps3s and whatnot
Thanks for the interview, Tom.
Everything I've read doesn't make me that optimistic about Hawkins. But he seems like a good kid with his head on straight, so best of luck wherever he goes.
Mark it down!
I love these interviews...even if the kid doesn't come here. And with quotes like these: "Oregon is my dream school.", I see an uphill battle.
I like most people, think that this kid will end up going to PSU. But from the interview there appears to be a sliver of hope seeing as he talked about academics, early playing time and Barwis.
Maybe with a bit of snake oil we can get this one?
Once again, great interview.