Hello: Brad Hawkins Comment Count

Brian July 3rd, 2015 at 2:45 PM


Michigan's picked up a commit from NJ WR Brad Hawkins. Here is an informative post about him.


Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #38 WR,
#224 overall
4*, #42 WR, #7 NJ
#206 overall
4*, #25 WR, #6 NJ
#191 overall
4*, 92, #37 WR
#198 overall
4*, #38 WR
#203 overall

There is virtual unanimity about where Hawkins falls amongst the top football prospects in the country: about 200th. Every service ranks him somewhere between 191 and 224.


Hawkins is a nice combination of burly-go-get-it and the athleticism to get separation. ESPN calls him a "physical specimen" and praises his ability to get open:

Shows some suddenness off the line for a bigger player. Has a long, strong stride to get into routes quickly and cover ground. Is deceptively sudden in confined spaces and can shift gears to flash double moves. … Above average body control opening up and adjusting to throws outside strike zone. Tracks deep ball well and fields over the shoulder throws naturally. …tremendous red zone potential as he continues to get stronger to be a significant factor on the jump ball.

247's Clint Brewster describes him as a version of Junior Hemingway:

…gives you a lot after the catch. … tough player in traffic and catches contested passes. He's not a blazer on the outside but has adequate speed and shows some quickness to take away angles from defensive backs. Power player and uses contact well in his routes. … He's able to use his body to box out defenders and snags the ball away from his body out in front. Really attacks the ball in jump ball situations.

Rivals is just as high on him as everyone else is but they were higher before his appearance at a camp stop. He dropped about 50 spots afterwards. This is their explanation as to why:

"Hawkins does a lot of things on the field very well and he will be a solid pickup for one team but there isn't a ton of explosiveness to his game. He has a knack for coming up big in big moments but consistently dominating on the field is something he needs to show more consistently."

Other camps he attended had a similar vibe, with a 7 on 7 appearance in Carolina—which was unspecified—netting him a "best hands" award. Both that appearance and the Rivals camp highlighted his reliability. Carolina:

…such a reliable receiver. He works the middle of the field very well and was always there for his quarterbacks in tough situations. Hawkins always seemed to be open because he runs great routes and covers a lot of ground coming out of his breaks.

Rivals Camp:

hard to point out any one area where Hawkins dominated on Sunday; but he does everything well. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder is an all-around wide receiver who can break press coverage, gets on top of defensive backs in a hurry and catches everything thrown his way. The four-star has a basketball background and that came through in the way he was able to high-point the football and out-leap defenders.

He is one of those guys. You know, those guys. The ones that are large and good at boxing out and maybe don't have announcers moaning about how unbelievably open they are.


Hawkins was down to Michigan and South Carolina pretty quickly in his recruitment, but he reports an impressive offer list including OSU, Oregon, Penn State, MSU, Miami, Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, and so forth and so on.


Hawkins's teammate Ron Johnson just committed to Michigan a couple weeks ago; 2017 OL Cesar Ruiz also has an offer. Before that Camden had a drought of D-I prospects going back to 2009.


Hawkins caught 45 passes for 805 yards and 14 TDs as a sophomore and 51 for 748 yards and 11 TDs as a junior.




I mentioned Junior Hemingway above and I'll mention him again: Hawkins appears to be the kind of guy who can go up and get it in a crowd but also is slippery/mean enough to be an option on screens. He probably isn't going to blow by cornerbacks on the regular but with his ability to position his body and block out defensive backs he may not have to if he's going to be effective.

Hemingway got absolutely enormous at Michigan, pushing linebacker size as an upperclassman—Hawkins isn't that burly yet but at 202 he is filled out well for a high school receiver.

Other potential comparables are Greg Mathews and Amara Darboh.


Hawkins is the 21st commit and first outside wide receiver in the class. (IN four-star Chris Evans is tentatively slated for slot receiver.)  It's likely Michigan adds one or two more guys at his position, with fellow New Jersist Ahmir Mitchell the most likely name to join him.

Past that, 21 is not much less than 25. By backdating three early enrollees, Michigan can go up to 28 if they have room, and they're recruiting like they do.



July 3rd, 2015 at 3:36 PM ^

I think that stuff is a little overrated.  Running good routes, getting off your defender at the snap and winning close battles is way more valuable than just speed.  Yeah, you want these guys to be fast.  But so many of the great WRs at Michigan (and many other places) weren't super fast and still had tons of success.  Who are the last 3 awesome WRs we've had?  Manningham, Hemingway and Gallon.  All three stretched the defense in different ways and were super successful.  None of them were all that fast, in terms of WR speed.


July 3rd, 2015 at 4:20 PM ^

People always overrate speed, but they do need to pay attention to hip fluidity, suddenness and burst off the break. I've seen WRs who are slow in 40 yard dash but is explosive off the break whereas WRs who are straight line fast but lacks the burst/suddenness to get open.

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July 3rd, 2015 at 3:30 PM ^

But that has nothing to do with getting under the 85 number. 

Look - there is only so much Ace can do to explain that because if he knows something that isn't common knowledge yet he won't say it and if he doesn't he would just be speculating anyway.  All that matters to us right now is if the coaches know, and they know much more than we do about who will be around a year from now.  There's also the "normal attrition" amount that is unpredictible but almost always there.  


July 3rd, 2015 at 4:05 PM ^

If Ace is going to follow Mgo's long held policy to not name names you are not going to get many specifics.   But here is a roadmap to free scholarships:

  • There are 4 class of 2012 redshirts who have not played a meaningful Big 10 down in their career.  Guys like Heitzman and Hayes played much more than these guys and left before their 5th year.  I'd expect the same for these 4.
  • A QB will transfer.... we have way too many with 2 of "Harbaugh's guys" poised to matter in 2016 -  O'Korn and Gentry.  Magnus is hinting he is hearing Gentry in fact will get some time this year (no rs) to prepare him for the competition in 2016.  If true that is going to say a lot about existing QBs on the roster.  Even if not true there are going to be too many underclassmen QBs.
  • 1 obvious medical on OL
  • You get 2-3 not obvious guys who transfer every year for a multitude of reasons starting with playing time.
  • There are "older" wide receivers who barely have played going into their 3rd/4th year and receiving zero talk in spring as guys like Cole or Ways or Canteen are talked up.  Will they be content to just sit again for 2 more yrs?
  • There are 2 other non linemen guys who have been position switched many times and cant buy playing time.  Maybe they play this year as 3rd string type backups -maybe its another year they are shut out.  With younger players coming in do they stick around past this year - or do they want togo somewhere and play some football?



July 3rd, 2015 at 4:31 PM ^

Yes, I Get The Speculation on Potentially Available Numbers
But I am surprised that the coaching staff is basically going to give up on a bunch of guys now after only spring ball practice. Don't we have great coaches now that could transform some of these assumed non-contributors into contributors after a full set of fall practices and full season? The QB position is, of course different, and certainly can see transfers there.

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July 3rd, 2015 at 5:00 PM ^

I don't think any of that suggests that the coaching staff is giving up on anybody, but if there is a kid on the team that harbaugh wouldn't have recruited or who still isn't showing signs of being a D1 contributor, he's not going to see the field or get reps in practice and when that happens, the players usually make the call.  

We do have great coaches, and they will do everything they can this fall.  But they won't split their time equally with every player and there is only so much they can do for every player in one year.  If a kid is in his 2nd or 3rd year this fall and the coaches aren't even considering him for PT, he might not want to wait another year.  This happens every year with good and bad coaching staffs, and a little more often directly after a coaching change.  

Also, statistically speaking, someone will get injured, someone will either get in trouble or flunk out or something, and somebody will leave that we didn't see coming kind of like Michael Ferns.  


July 3rd, 2015 at 6:58 PM ^

So, Let Me Understand
We are banking on a whole bunch of unknowns in order to be at the right number? And, we are banking on guys that have eligibility for 2016 and after on the current roster to actually see the their lack of playing time and leave. Coaches can't force guys to leave, right? Only not offer a 5th year to a potential red shirt senior?

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July 3rd, 2015 at 10:00 PM ^

I would proffer that JH has seen enough low intensity and raw competitiveness to devise the culture needs change.

Sitting her watching the Rutgers-UM game from last fall (that I even attended) and the team failed to control the game or make critical plays. Either way, the roster lacks the talent to beat middling teams let alone the big boys.

Probably 30+ guys on the 85 that have little/no hope of being a contributor.


July 3rd, 2015 at 11:05 PM ^

yes, watched that recently, just a horrendous game. speaking of WR, watch our guys in that game - they just run out and turn. where's a gd head fake or double move. rounded off routes. and poor blocking too. and for fuck's sake how many stick routes do we run on 3rd and short? all of them. how about a gd slant every now and again, I mean the guy's playing off Funchess. LB is blitzing - he's already declared by moving to the DEs butt - there is no way a slant can fail if the DB is playing off.


July 4th, 2015 at 12:13 AM ^

this is where I see the 'brace yourself... shady shit is coming' memes in our future.

I think the writing is on the wall that we are going to 'cut players', push players out, cool on players we have offered in the hope that they don't commit... basically, all the shit that we hate about the SEC is coming home to roost;  that is the price of championsihp football.




July 4th, 2015 at 11:40 AM ^

I always thought having depth with juniors and seniors was the big difference in wining, but really it comes down to coaching. Hence, the 2012 recruiting class was rated as #8 in the country by most!  Though Pipkins was one of our two 5 stars, He now done due to injuries. What ever happen to Strobel? He was projected as a big DE out of Mentor, OH. If I remember correctly Hoke beat out OSU and got Strobel to play for Michigan! the Buckeyes were all upset since Strobel was a verbal commit for nearly a year before Hoke convinced him to head to Michigan.


July 4th, 2015 at 11:51 AM ^

Hoke's 2013  class was number 6 in the country! What happened to Jaron Dukes a 6'4" 4* speedy WR from Columbus? May be Taco will be a presence on the DL this season? There was a lot of good talent in the 2012 and 2013 recruiting class. These are now your juniors and seniors!

Mr Miggle

July 4th, 2015 at 11:47 AM ^

The projected class size is always higher than the number of graduating seniors. People freak out about it every damn year. It's a projected class size. There's guesswork involved and an entire season to be played before it's finalized. If you recruit for the mininum number of places you have, you're left scrambling to fill the class at the end. And have turned away players you would have gladly taken earlier.

The disparity in numbers is higher this year. That's the only difference. That's to be expected with a regime change and with a high number of candidates to not get a fifth year. I'll bet that when it's done, we're going to have one or two unused roster spots. Then people will freak out about how we always lose out on recruits that announce on signing day. That pursuing them is a waste of time and we should just take guys that decide early. 


July 3rd, 2015 at 5:11 PM ^

I also doubt that this class gets to a full 28.  We re at 14 and 5 spots are very easily discernable.  That's 19.  After that you get into the QB stuff, the position switchers and the unpredictables and getting to 25 doesn't look so hard.  We also might have a class of 2015 guy who doesn't make it through the season, which seems to happen more often than not.  

Mr Miggle

July 4th, 2015 at 8:39 AM ^

It gets repeated all the time on this site. I don't know how it started.

We have 15 spots opening up by departing seniors.






G. Glasgow








Norfleet (He may well return. His scholarship has not been used.)







July 3rd, 2015 at 9:15 PM ^

I remain confident that not every verbal commit is going to stick come NSD. It is a given that a couple of the kids will commit somewhere else, for a variety of reasons. It's why speculating now it's irrelevant. My bet is Harbaugh knows this and is basically overbooking a bit so that he isn't left scrambling as much during the season.


July 3rd, 2015 at 3:02 PM ^

Nice hands, fluid athlete with excellent body control.  Not a burner, but appears to have the ability to "box out" and get leverage, particularly on smaller corners.  Decent route runner for a HS WR and will improve vastly in that area.  Has nimble feet, good vision and sets up his blockers well in the open field.

A college S&C program will make that body even more solid, to the point where he could possibly play some H-Back in some formations.  Anquan Boldin-esque receiver. 

Great addition to this class.  Looks like the interview with Coward did not hurt recruiting after all.  ;)   Happy 4th!