"I have gotten offers from Texas, Florida, and Arkansas in the last couple
of weeks," added Donald Hawkins. "Ole Miss also offered me a couple
of weeks back."
Left tackles are arguably the second most important player on the field outside
of the quarteraback because somebody has to protect the signal caller's blind
side. The Longhorns rarely if ever dip down into the junior college ranks for
that guy but that has changed.
"Coach (Stacy) Searels said they don't recruit junior college offensive
linemen but he saw the qualities in me that they needed, and they have a couple
of spots open at tackle next fall. He thinks I am a great talent and can play
immediately. They want me to come up there for an official visit this weekend,
but I have some course work I need to take care of here this weekend so I can't
go. I do plan to go up there sometime later though."
What makes Texas attractive for Hawkins?
"Texas' name stands out for itself, but I am not going to a college for
their name. They need me, and as junior college player with only two years left,
I need to go somewhere where I am needed and a place I can win immediately."
Where else has Donald visited officially and where does he go next?
"I went up to Kentucky when they played Florida (9/24/11) and Kansas State
when they played Missouri (10/8/11) for an official visit. I visit Oklahoma State on December 3rd, and I am pretty sure Texas will be my fourth visit. My
last visit will be either to Florida or Georgia. I have not decided yet."
Who are the main schools in contention?
"I would say Florida, Texas, Oklahoma State, Mississippi State and Georgia."
Where does his Oklahoma State commitment stand?
"I am still committed. They were the second school to offer me, and my
best offer, so I took it. I am still going to take my visits and look around
and see what everybody has to offer but Coach (Joe) Wickline set up a plan to
get me out of here by December and has seen through it that I make it. He has
watched over my back to make sure I get that AA degree and I am thankful for
Mississippi State has been recruiting Donald since high school. Why not take
an official visit to MSU?
"I have already been over there so many times that there is not anything
new for me to see. I want to take these official visits to some places I have
never been to before."
What stands out about the Dogs?
"They stuck with me through high school and junior college so I just can't
throw them out the door."
Donald has attended a couple of the Ole Miss football games this fall including
the Alabama game. What is going on with Ole Miss?
"They are the home state team but they waited too long to offer me. That
has stuck with me. I was going over there a lot in the spring and summer to
watch some of their practices and just hanging out with some of the players
I know from over there. Truthfully, I was kind of liking it, but at the same
time the other schools were showing me a lot of love so I committed to Oklahoma
State. They did offer me a couple weeks back but they are going to have to come
at me really hard to get back in the picture for me."
What stands out about Florida?
"They have a winning tradition and great talent on their team. Some of
them are young, kind of like Ole Miss, but there is a lot of talent on that
team. They are always competing for national championships. They offered me
a scholarship last week. They want to bring me down for an official visit, but
like I said earlier, I have not decided if I am going to take one to Florida
or Georgia yet."
Is Kansas State or Kentucky still in the picture?
"Kansas State is a great team but their style of offense does not fit my
style of play. I had a great time at Kentucky, but they have a lot of improving
to do, and I only have two years left. I do not have time to build with a team.
I am looking to go somewhere where I can compete for titles right now."
Why has the former Rosa Fort standout become such a wanted man?
"I have not given up a sack here at N' West CC in two seasons. That is
something I am very proud of. My run blocking has gotten better too so I am
more of a balanced player now. I am one of the older guys so I push everybody
in practice to become a better player and in return I have become a better team
leader and a better player. I am just an overall better player now, and I think
a lot of people like my footwork for a left tackle."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org