HIGH SCHOOL Hill came to Michigan in the class of 2019 out of Tulsa (OK) Booker T. Washington. He was a 247 Composite 5-star, the #1 safety, and #14 overall. He committed to Michigan in September 2019, flipped to Alabama in early December 2019, and then flipped back on National Signing Day. I gave him a TTB Rating of 100 (LINK) and gave the following quote:
Things I dislike about Hill: *crickets*
COLLEGE Hill started three games as a freshman and made 36 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 2 fumble recoveries, and 4 pass breakups; he also caught a pass on a fake punt to gain a first down against Army. I thought that would be foreshadowing for him being a two-way player or a returner at some point in his career, but that didn’t happen. He became a full-time starter in 2020 when he made 46 tackles, 1 interception, and 5 pass breakups. We finally saw him spend a full, real season as a starter in 2021, when he was somewhat unleashed as a safety/slot corner who made 69 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, and 11 pass breakups. For his efforts he was named a 1st Team All-Big Ten player by the conference’s coaches.
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HIGH SCHOOL Haskins was a 2-star running back to Rivals and the #1013 overall player to 247 Sports when he committed to Michigan out of Eureka (MO) Eureka in the class of 2018. I gave him a TTB Rating of 78 (LINK) and he ended up as a 247 Composite 3-star, the #49 running back, and #975 overall. A quote from my commitment post:
I’ll probably take some flak for this because people don’t understand how words work, but from a running style standpoint, Haskins reminds me a lot of Adrian Peterson. He’s not as big or as strong or as fast, but he runs with the same style and idea of physicality. He’s not a blazing runner or amazingly elusive, but he has good vision and power.
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HIGH SCHOOL Hinton always had the spotlight on him, considering he’s the son of former 1st round NFL draft pick Chris Hinton. He attended Norcross (GA) Greater Atlanta Christian and was a 5-star, the #4 defensive tackle, and #31 overall in the class of 2019. Originally rated as a strongside end – which confused me at the time – he eventually ended up ranked as a DT, where he finished up behind Zacch Pickens (South Carolina), DeMarvin Leal (Texas A&M), and Travon Walker (Georgia); Pickens is returning to South Carolina, while Leal and Walker joined Hinton in declaring for the draft after three years. Here’s my original commitment post (LINK) and a link to the final TTB Ratings for 2019, where I gave him a 90 (LINK)
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HIGH SCHOOL Hawkins was originally from Camden (NJ) Camden in the 2016 class, where he was a teammate of eventual Michigan signee Cesar Ruiz. He signed with Michigan in 2016 but had to attend prep school at Suffield (CT) Suffield Academy and reclassify to the 2017 class. In the meantime, he went from being committed as a receiver to then coming in as a safety in 2017. He was ranked as a 3-star, the #66 wide receiver, and #425 overall in that 2017 class.
COLLEGE Hawkins played in all twelve games as a freshman and then started one game as a sophomore in his home state of New Jersey when the Wolverines played at Rutgers. He then became a full-time starter in 2019 and was named the team’s most improved player; Pro Football Focus even jumped in and named him their First Team All-Big Ten player at the Flex position, which is reserved for hybrid players, since Hawkins was largely a safety/linebacker hybrid.
CAREER STATISTICS 178 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 1 fumble recovery, 2 forced fumbles, 8 pass breakups 6 kickoff returns for 83 yards
AWARDS Third Team All-Big Ten (2021)
SUMMARY Hawkins is one of those seemingly rare cases of a Michigan recruit who goes to prep school and actually ends up at Michigan. It seems like most recruits who have academic issues just end up going elsewhere rather than working their way into Michigan. Originally recruited as a wide receiver – who spent his prep year also playing wide receiver – it seemed odd that he came in as a safety immediately. I had issues with Hawkins early on because of some stiffness and a lack of top-end speed, but safety is one of those positions where experience really matters. As the years wore on, he made fewer and fewer mistakes. And whether he was just reacting quicker or whether he actually improved physically, he seemed to play faster and faster, to the point where he was a very solid player his last couple years. While he wasn’t flashy as a senior (60 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 FF, 1 FR, 4 PBU) and never made an interception in his career, he was always in the right spot. He did a good job of filling on the run, made some excellent plays when he was supposed to hold the edge, and had very few bad plays in 2021. He’s a great example of why freshman safeties make me nervous and why it’s nice having veterans on the back end of the defense.
I WILL REMEMBER HIM FOR . . . . . . playing at Michigan forever. Okay, technically it was only five years (2017-2021), but since Hawkins was committed in the 2016 class, too, it feels like he’s been a staple of Michigan’s program. And that makes sense because he played in 56 career games, an all-time high for a Michigan player. (Due to COVID-19, he was able to play six games in 2020 and still return for a fifth year.) That’s a record that’s going to be very hard to break.
PROJECTION I was surprised to learn that Hawkins was not even invited to the 2022 NFL Combine. After all, he has to be one of the most experienced safeties in the country, and he played for two high-quality defensive coordinators: Don Brown, who has put oodles of players in the NFL, and Mike Macdonald, who parlayed his year at Michigan into a defensive coordinator job with the Baltimore Ravens. Perhaps teams feel like they have nothing to learn about a guy who has 56 games of tape available, but I have to think the NFL’s general concerns mirror mine from earlier in his career, regarding stiffness and overall athleticism. It only takes one team to jump up and draft you, so perhaps he becomes a late round pick. I would have pegged him for a 6th/7th round pick, anyway, but the lack of a Combine invitation makes me think he might just have to go the undrafted route.
HIGH SCHOOL Eubanks attended Fort Lauderdale (FL) American Heritage, a program pretty well known for producing college prospect. He was a 3-star, the #15 tight end, and #344 overall in the class of 2016. Michigan secured his commitment late in the process, and he was one of three tight ends in that class, joining Sean McKeon and Devin Asiasi. I gave Eubanks a TTB Rating of 44 (LINK), largely because I thought Asiasi (a 92 rating) and McKeon (77) would push him out.