"I am just remaining thankful and working as hard as I can," said Hawkins about the new attention. "Just last week, I wasn't getting all the attention and then it really started heating up. So I'm trying to keep my approach the same and try to find something to thank God for everyday...and still working my hardest every time I go out there."
Hawkins has football in his genes. His father, Artrell Hawkins, played defensive back in the NFL, while his uncle, Andrew Hawkins, currently plays wide receiver with the Cleveland Browns. It was during his trip to see and workout with his uncle in Tampa, Florida that the younger Hawkins received his first big news; he picked up his first offer from FSU.
"I definitely value the fact that Florida State were the first to take a chance on me," he said. "It kind of reassured what I was thinking. I could value that, but ultimately I'm trying to make the best decision. I am going to keep in mind that they were the first ones to believe in me thats for sure."
But the Noles were not the only ones to show their confidence in the Moeller standout. Kentucky pulled the trigger next with the Gators following on Friday afternoon.
"It is exciting," he said about the Florida offer. "I was just really proud. I knew they were probably going to do it. They wanted me to come down, so there was a good chance it was going to happen. But I am extremely thankful for everything that is going on. It is really coming as a surprise to be honest with you. It just heated up rather quickly, and I can't thank God enough."
Hawkins, along with two of his uncles and his cousins, visited The Swamp on Friday.
"It was at the end of practice, we were there all day, and coach Mac [Florida head coach Jim McElwain] came up to me afterwards and told me that I would look good in the blue and orange uniform and thats when it happened."
Although the Gators are a new offer on his list, they are not a new program to Hawkins.
"I've watched the SEC for a few years now. I was a big [Tim] Tebow fan back in the day," explained Hawkins. "I loved the way he carried himself. He was a guy that I always looked up to. I watched a decent amount of their games, but I wasn't too familiar with their campus or how they ran their program." That of course changed after his recent trip to campus.
"I got the chance to meet the defensive line coach [ Chris Rumph]," he said. "I got to see how he talks to his players, and how he coaches them. It seems like an efficient program and things are on the up and up at Florida. I mean it's already a great program, so it was good to get more comfortable with that.
"It was a pretty nice campus," he added. "I like that orange stadium they have. I like how that stadium is set up. The campus is very nice as well; what you would expect from an SEC school. There really were no negatives on that visit, all pretty good."
Friday was not a normal spring practice for Florida. The team suited up for their second scrimmage of the spring.
"I loved the intensity they brought to the scrimmage," he said. "The pads were definitely thumping. They were getting after it a little bit. and I can always appreciate that level of competition.It was definitely good to see that."
He was also able to speak one-on-one with McElwain.
"He came over to see me after practice, he seems like a very energetic guy," said Hawkins about the Florida head coach. "Nice guy too. He came up to me and called me by my first name and shook my hand and took some time to talk with the rest of my family as well. He seems like a good guy."
Hawkins, however, is not done. The 2018 prospect will visit more schools in the coming weeks.
"I'm going to visit Clemson for their spring game, and then I will be going to Notre Dame shortly too. Things are looking up."
With this new attention, he says he is not only going to stay humble, he is also going to take his time.
"I am going to take it slow. This is still brand new as a process," he said. "I'm not really too sure right now. I am definitely going to be patient about everything. I am going to take a good look at everybody so ultimately I am looking for the best opportunity for me. It's still a lot to go through, but when I do it I know it will be the best decision for sure."