The theme for Ole Miss’ 2018 recruiting class has been “defense” because Lord knows it needs to be. And once again, the theme continues. Jason Jones and Wesley McGriff have secured their first commitment for the secondary after three-star JaKorey Hawkins pledged his verbal pledge to the Rebels on Wednesday.
Hawkins, a cornerback from Montgomery, Ala., is the 10th commitment for Matt Luke and Co. and the 5th commitment from the state of Alabama. He currently holds offers from Auburn, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Missouri, Penn State, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Toledo, UCF, and West Virginia while also generating interest from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, and Notre Dame.
The No. 67 corner in the country according to 247Sports composite rankings had a spectacular junior season at Lee High School, making 33 tackles, deflecting 10 passes and collecting two interceptions. The Yellowhammer State’s No. 2-rated cornerback has exceptional size and speed that forced most offenses to run and throw on the other side of the field.
Hawkins will compete in the 2017 Mississippi/Alabama All Star Game that will be played in Hattiesburg, Miss. this December. With his commitment, Ole Miss now has more commitments playing in the game (4) than Alabama. Talk about disrespect, am I right?!
How does he fit in?
The 5’11, 187-pounder possesses the ideal frame that you want for a shutdown corner. And to go along with the measurables is 4.5 speed and a 40” vertical leap that will help defend go routes and winning one-on-one battles, something the Rebs have struggled to do this season. These are things that you can’t teach and Jones and McGriff have got themselves a damn good one who has tremendous upside.
Hawkins is someone who could will find himself on the field in 2018 due to his size and speed combination. Another thing that has helped hone Hawkins’ skill as a cover corner was defending against former teammate, U.S. Army All-American, and current Alabama receiver, Henry Ruggs III. He will most certainly have an opportunity to cover him in the coming years, this time as an actual opponent.