Jeff Hawkins"It's like family down there"

3-Star tight end Jeff Hawkins from Vanguard HS, was the Bulls first commit of '08, and this weekend took his official visit to USF. Read on for all the details and highlights of the visit to Tampa and see why he's even more excited to be a Bull. Only on

Jeff Hawkins Profile

Back in April at
the Bulls annual spring game, tight end Jeff Hawkins was the very first recruit to commit to USF for the class of ‘08. The Hawk has a great combination of size, speed, and grit, and many major programs tried to lure away the 6'4.5, 240 pound tight end, but Jeff respectively told them no thanks and held firm in his commitment to the Bulls. This past weekend the 3-star prospect out of Vanguard HS took his official visit to Tampa to get a closer look at where he'll be calling home.


"It was really great," said Hawkins. "I had a real good time the whole weekend."


During the weekend visit, the 6'4.5-240 pound tight end was hosted by USF quarterback Grant Gregory


"I didn't really know him that much, but we got along good, he's a real cool guy," said Hawkins. "We have a lot in common. We both really enjoy working out and getting after it in the weight room."


After arriving in Tampa Friday, Jeff got to check out the campus briefly, and meet some of the other recruits and some of the players.


"Friday we went out to dinner at the Columbia, and then hung out at Grants apartment and played video games. We were playing Halo 3, but we were playing online and I'm not very good and got schooled."


Hawkins also got a chance to hang out with the other recruits who were also visiting this weekend.


"I met quite a few of them. My roommate was Josh Garvin, he's real cool and we talked a lot. I also got to meet Tommy Streeter and Corey Liuget, they were both real cool too. Tommy really looked like he was having a blast. So did Corey, he brought his whole family there. I didn't get a chance to talker with the cornerback (George Baker) that much."


The weekend gave Hawkins the opportunity to get to know some of the other players that will be making up the class of '08.


 ‘I got to talk with a lot them, and everybody was real cool. We were talking about what we're thinking of doing when we get here. Playing time, what we're going to major in, and stuff like that. I definitely got a chance to know everybody a lot better and felt like we got a chance to bond."


Saturday after touring the campus and the dorms, and meeting with the academic advisors, every one got to attend the Bulls annual banquet at Busch Gardens.


"It was really awesome. They had all these highlight videos of the offense, the defense, individual, and gave out the awards. It was really cool and all put together very well. Watching that gave me goose bumps. I can't wait to get out on that field, and one day that'll be me up there. I think all the other recruits had the same feeling. I don't know how you couldn't. "


Throughout the weekend Hawkins spent a lot of time talking with Leavitt and the other coaches.


"I talked to all the coaches. They're all real friendly. We talked about where they want me to come in and stuff like that. Coach Leavitt told me how he definitely wants me to make a push to try and get playing time my freshman year and really bust it the rest of my senior year and come in great shape and push the guys this summer. They expect me to come in and perform well in blocking and other areas of the tight end position, and be a big contributor on special teams."


With a weekend full of activities what was the future Bull's favorite part?


"I'd have to say probably the banquet. I really enjoyed that and tit was the highlight for me. Everybody really seemed to like it. It was a real good time, good food and very well done."


Although Jeff has been to USF several times and been to watch the team play, he says he got to learn something about the school that he didn't know.


"I already knew a lot about USF and have followed the program for the last couple of years, and pretty much know what going on there. But actually got to see the dorms for the first time, and that's where I'll be staying my freshman year, and I thought that they're real nice compared to other dorms that I've seen."


Hawkins did mention that during the weekend one thing stood out.


"It's like family down there. Everybody is so close and tight, the players, the coaches, you feel like you already know everybody and are part of the team."


This season Hawkins was under used in the Vanguard offense, but still finished with 12 catches for 221 yards (18 yards per catch) with 22 pancakes. While playing only part time on defense Hawkins was a force, being named First-team all-county for defense after recording 4 sacks, 14 TFLs, 51 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 recovered fumble. Now that the season is over, Jeff knows what he wants to work on before getting to campus.


"I'm going to do weightlifting and maybe track. I want to work on my speed and my stamina. I really want to be able to run with those guys when I get there, because there in very good shape down there."


Jeff had a great visit, and said even though he won't be on campus until summer the weekend visit has got him even more motivated.


"It was great, and from 1-to 10, I'd definitely have to give it a ten. I pretty much knew everything, but the weekend really helps drive the point that that's where I want to be for the next couple of years. It gives me something to look forward to and to work for." 

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