Name: Brad Hawkins
Weight: 204 lbs.
High school: Suffield (CT) Suffield Academy
Jersey number: #20
Last year: I ranked Hawkins #75b and said he would redshirt (LINK). He made 2 tackles and 3 kickoff returns for 42 yards.
TTB Rating: 79
Hawkins has had an odd journey to this point in his career at Michigan. He was a wide receiver and safety in high school at Camden (NJ) Camden, but he didn’t qualify in 2016 and ended up in the 2017 class after spending a year at Suffield Academy. He played wide receiver at Suffield, which I thought would ensure his becoming a receiver at Michigan . . . except Michigan brought in four other receivers in 2017, too, several of whom were higher rated (Tarik Black, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Nico Collins, Oliver Martin). So after taking a year off from playing safety, Hawkins played safety.
I thought that inexperience would necessitate a year redshirting, but instead Michigan played him in a spot where explosiveness – something that’s not exactly his forte – is valued: kickoff return. Hawkins returned 3 kickoffs for an average of 14.0 yards/return, which is not good. What will Michigan do with him in 2018? If they played him on kickoff return in 2017, I see no reason why they’ll stop in 2018. So there’s that. Otherwise, Hawkins has been playing safety and Viper. He shouldn’t play much at either position this season, considering who’s coming back, but I do expect him to do get a few snaps on defense and continue to play on special teams.
Prediction: Backup safety/Viper, special teamer