Recruiting secret is getting out

Hands are always a big thing when it comes to pass-receiving tight ends. Recently though, the shift has made to a tight end that is more receiver than he is a tight end. The longer frame. The tight end is slowly becoming one of the more athletic positions on the field and for good reason. When you have a great one, it can present mis-matches all over the field.

One of the top players in the state of Kansas is Tanner Hawkinson. The 6-foot-6 and 230-pound tight end from McPherson (Kans.) is busy getting ready for the upcoming season.

"I don't play any spring sports," Hawkinson said. "I am really just lifting weights and working out by myself right now. I am just getting ready for football."

There were some goals when it came to the off-season workouts. Hawkinson is trying to gain in size so that he can help out in pass protection. He thinks that will help him the most in college.

"I definitely wanted to get bigger and wanted to improve on my blocking a lot. That is what is going to help me out the most at the next level."

If Hawkinson adds the pass protection aspect to his arsenal then he will have the complete package. Hawkinson is already a serious threat to catch and run with the ball.

"I think that I have pretty good hands and I am pretty athletic for my size. I can go up and get the ball. I can also make plays after the catch."

"I'm not too fast, but I am usually quick enough to get behind the linebackers. I can find the open spots on the football field."

Hawkinson had a solid year last year as a junior. He averaged a little over 15 yards per reception and a touchdown catch about every third reception. Those types of numbers earned him some very nice honors.

"I think that I had about 24 catches for 365 yards and nine touchdowns. I got first team all-class 5A, first team all-league and honorable mention all-area."

Slowly, Hawkinson's name is gaining in popularity. He is already sitting on a handful of offers, but some of the schools that are starting to show interest are very impressive.

"I have an offer from Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Colorado State. Beyond those four there is Oklahoma, Miami and Stanford. I spoke to Miami the other day and I get mail from Stanford quite a bit."

Hawkinson has had a chance to take a couple of trips this year already. He is looking at taking a couple of more in the coming weeks for some combines.

"I went to the Kansas spring game and I went to the Kansas State spring game. I am going to the Nike camp in Fort Worth on the 28th and then the combine on the 14th."

When Hawkinson makes his decision he will be looking at a few key things. The first is getting on the field early in his career. After that he will be looking at location and the academics.

"Probably the number one thing is getting to play early. Beyond that it will probably be location and academics. I could, but I would probably rather stay closer to home."

"When it comes to a school like Stanford, I could probably work with going out to California to go to school. Otherwise, I would probably rather stay close to home."

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