Jaylinn Hawkins prides himself on being a "gamer."
Last season, the four-star wide receiver had 777 yards on 54 receptions for Buena Park (Calif.), and he was just as productive on defense, tallying 104 tackles, including 2.0 tackles for loss. He added three picks for 40 return yards and nine passes defended, along with a fumble recovery.
"I go hard. I'm always going full speed," said Hawkins. "Even when I'm tired, I still go full speed, because you never know when it could be your last down, so I just play hard, play physical."
That's why California wide receivers coach Rob Likens is so enamored with the 6-foot-1, 164-pounder, who grew up watching – and rooting for – USC, but has now taken quite a fancy to the Golden Bears, who he watched multiple times last season.
"Yessir, and I know a lot of them," Hawkins told BearTerritory. "Actually, I know most of the receivers, and also, a friend of mine, Erik Brown, just signed there, and Tre Watson, so I like the way they run their program, their offense. Everybody gets the ball. The quarterback is actually good, but they have a really young team. They're still working as a team to improve, and over the next few years, the team will be nice, like, really good."
Hawkins' interest in the Bears goes beyond quarterback Jared Goff's 3,508 passing yards and 320 completions. He likes the familiarity of having not only Watson and Brown up in Berkeley, but also the relationship he's formed with Likens.
"He's come by to talk to me, check in, see what's going on, just to keep in touch. He's a real good guy," said Hawkins, who has now also met nearly every other offensive coach – including head coach Sonny Dykes -- thanks to Likens. "They're really cool people."
What does Likens think of the No. 16 wide receiver in the 2015 class? A source said that Likens "loves, loves, loves" him some Jaylinn Hawkins, and he's shown it.
"They like my attitude in the game, how I play in a game," said Hawkins. "I'm a gamer. He likes the way I'm always going hard. I'm always giving 100 percent. I never take plays off. He likes my technique at receiver. He really likes my routes. He also how I play safety, how I tackle and how I cover. My overall game is what they like, is what he told me."
Hawkins said that he intends to visit Berkeley not only for spring ball, but also for Junior Day on April 12.
"I'm going to come up, most definitely, to see how practice is run, how things are up that way," Hawkins said. "I've never been up there before, but it seems like a cool place. I did some research up on it, but I haven't been out that way."