Hawkins appreciative of Hogs, fans

University of Arkansas coach Sam Pittman and his staff welcomed ESPN 4-star Michael Hawkins Jr. to the LSU and Ole Miss games.

“I planned to visit some [games] early in the year, but I had a lot of football and we just didn’t catch on,” Hawkins said. “I wanted to come back to see how they play against Ole Miss and how they interact with the coaching staff. and players and building that relationship.”

Hawkins, a 6-2, 185-pound native of Allen, Texas, is no stranger to Fayetteville, as he once again attended a tailgate meeting with the top 2024 and 2025 recruits during the season and on July 30.

He was joined on the trip by his teammate and fellow sophomore Davon Mitchell, who is also a top target for the Hogs.

ESPN also ranks Hawkins as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2024 and the No. 238 overall prospect in the country. Arkansas’ all-around pass is very attractive.

“It’s a great fit for me and I feel like I can help the team by throwing and running the ball,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins has scholarship offers from schools like Arkansas, Oklahoma, Michigan, TCU, Alabama, North Carolina State, Virginia Tech and others.

He received his offer from Arkansas State on June 18 and has been in contact with Pittman, offensive coordinator Kendal Briles and assistant quarterbacks coach Mark Kala since then.

“Since the summer when I got my offer, they’ve been improving the relationship,” Hawkins said. “It’s just that we can talk about life, not football. That’s a big thing for me. We don’t have to talk about football all the time to build a relationship. I think they’re doing a good job of that.”

Hawkins was named District 5-6A Offensive Rookie of the Year as a sophomore after completing 161 of 249 passes for 2,807 yards, 21 touchdowns and 5 interceptions while also rushing for 104 yards for 730 yards and 8 touchdowns.

He completed 148 of 264 passes for 2,007 yards with 20 touchdowns and rushed 79 times for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns this season.

While the Razorback coaches were heavily recruiting him, fans did their part on social media to let them know he was being sought after.

“How do they feel about a lot of the stuff I’ve published,” Hawkins said. “They keep track of what I’m doing and when I get down to Arkansas.”

Pig fans being active on social media is appreciated.

“It makes me feel good to know that I have people who want me to come to school and feel like I can help the team win in the future,” Hawkins said.

His father, Mike, played cornerback at Oklahoma before being drafted in the fifth round by the Green Bay Packers in the 2005 NFL Draft.

In addition to Arkansas, Hawkins has visited Oklahoma twice this season, along with trips to TCU and Texas Tech.

His father also admired Arkansas.

“That’s how they operate, the city,” Hawkins said. “Everyone around us. We had a good time every time we went down.”

Hawkins talked about where Arkansas stands with him.

“Arkansas is one of my top schools,” he said. “They’ve been there for a while.”

He hopes to attend Arkansas Junior Day in January.

“I’m still planning it all,” Hawkins said. “If I could come back to Fayetteville for their junior day, that would be great.”

It looks like Hawkins may announce his college decision soon.

“I want to do it soon, I don’t have a specific date,” Hawkins said.

His brother Maliek Hawkins, a sophomore, has an offer from the Hogs.

Email Richard Davenport at [email protected]

Highlights from Michael Hawkins

arkansasonline.com/1125hawkins

photo Michael Hawkins

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