Grant Hawkins had no intention of playing the waiting game and the Arkansas State Red Wolves are glad he didn’t.
The Dyersburg (Tenn.) State shortstop had a pair of power 5 schools -- Tennessee and Oklahoma -- wanting him to wait until after the amateur draft before he picked his future.
“They had a couple of shortstops who they thought might get drafted and they didn’t know how much money they would have left,’’ said Hawkins. “Arkansas State was wanting me to go ahead and make a decision and they had a good offer. I didn’t want to wait.
“I had a nice visit,’’ he said. “I liked the coaches, the players and I liked the direction the program is headed so I decided to be a part of it.”
Hawkins visited Jonesboro during the Christmas break and is part of a plan to add some experience bats to a lineup that loses three seniors.
After spending his freshman season at Volunteer State, Hawkins (6-foot, 175 pounds) transferred to Dyersburg. At Vol State, he batted .245 with a .391 on-base percentage and 8 errors in 40 games as the starting shortstop. He also had a 1-0 record and 0.00 ERA in 2.1 innings (6 strikeouts).
His numbers improved greatly at Dyersburg where he moved to shortstop. Batting in the leadoff spot, he is hitting .356 with 5 home runs and 38 RBIs with an onbase percentage of .444. He is also 13 of 15 on stolen bases.
“I like playing shortstop but it doesn’t matter,’’ he said. “I will play either, just what is best for the team.”
Hawkins said he was being recruited by Eastern Kentucky, Campbell, New Orleans, Louisiana Tech among others.
Dyersburg State is in Georgia in the NJCAA regional. It is the school’s first trip to the East Central Regional. They open play on Wednesday. A victory in the tournament sends them to the World Series in Grand Junction, Colo.
Hawkins attended Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Tenn.