When jumbo wide receiver Taariq Johnson was asked, upon the occasion of his commitment to California, if he and Jeremiah Hawkins would play together in college, he cryptically said, "It's a possibility."
Today, it's more than a possibility. Hawkins became the third member of the 2017 class on Friday, committing to join his nephew -- yes, his nephew -- Jaylinn Hawkins as a Golden Bear.
Even though Jeremiah is two years younger than Jaylinn -- who redshirted while injured this past season as a freshman -- he's actually Jaylinn's uncle. Jeremiah is the kid brother of Jaylinn's father -- Jermaine.
"I get that question all the time, from everyone," Jeremiah laughed. "I get it all the time, so I'm used to it now."
Indeed. Jeremiah and Jaylinn did grow up together, and there relationship is more like that of cousins than the traditional uncle-nephew paradigm.
"I'd tease him about it, we'd kid around about it sometimes, and sometimes, I try to act like his uncle, and I boss him around," Jeremiah said. "We just laugh. He just laughs about it."
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1643410-jeremiah-hawkins-c... This season in just eight games, due to a foot injury, Hawkins still ripped off 40 catches for 867 yards, and 20 carries for 300 yards, scoring 12 touchdowns
"Hawkins has great quickness, is very good after the catch and is a natural pass catcher as well," said Scout West Coast Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins. "He's an ideal slot receiver, a little undersized but makes up for it with his speed and ability to make plays after the catch. He's a very competitive player who plays with a chip on his shoulder and always comes to play."
Cal offensive coordinator Jake Spavital told Hawkins that he sees him as a Christian Kirk-type slot receiver, who will also be able to return kicks and punts.
"Hawkins is a quick, explosive slot receiver who fits in very well in Cal's offense," Biggins said. "He's a tough cover because of his clean routes, explosiveness in and out of his breaks and soft hands. He's very good after the catch and has the ability to take a short hitch, make 2-3 guys miss and pick up big yards. You can put him in the backfield as well and he should see time returning punts and kicks. Cal always does a nice job creating mismatches and getting their receivers in space and that plays in to what Hawkins excels at. He's also a highly competitive kid with a strong will to win and will be a great teammate."
Hawkins is built in the mold of a Melquise Stovall, though he's a bit slimmer. The biggest attraction: His speed.
"They need a guy like me to come in and catch the ball, and make a big play out of nowhere," Hawkins said.
He can certainly do that. The Buena Park standout ran a blistering 4.3-second 40 the summer after his sophomore year at a Boise State camp. Putting the two of them in the slot -- one at the H and one at the Y -- or splitting one out wide at the X could be a huge match-up issue for opposing defenses, and a big attraction to whoever wants to jump in the boat as the Bears' 2017 quarterback commit.null