The Ole Miss Rebels have been diligently sifting through the defensive prospects in the 2021 class, making sure to turn over every rock and to evaluate as much as they can without in-person contact and camp film.
Well, you could say they discovered a hidden gem in Jibran Hawkins now that he has verbally committed to Deke Adams. The newest member of Lane Kiffin’s 2021 class has flown under-the-radar largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic putting a damper on the summer when rising seniors get out and compete in camps, 7-on-7 competitions, and showcases. But, Adams and the Ole Miss staff were able to break down Hawkins’ junior film and connect with him virtually, leading to his verbal pledge.
The Lawrenceville, Ga. native chose the Rebs over notable offers from Arkansas, Memphis, Mississippi State, Navy, South Alabama, and Tulane among others. “JJ” played in eight games as a junior, making 30 tackles and two sacks. He also made an impact on offense, utilizing his athleticism to score five touchdowns.
The Discovery High School product is the 8th commit in Ole Miss’ 2021 class and the first up front for Adams. DJ Durkin and Chris Partridge need impact depth up front and Hawkins brings a ton of flexibility and punch at defensive end.
How does he fit in?
The 6’3, 240-pounder brings a large, versatile frame to the strong-side defensive end position. He has an explosive first step and moves incredible well on the interior despite not being 30 or 40-pounds heavier. He possesses long arms which he utilizes well at the point of attack to fend off would-be offensive tackles in pass or run block sets.
Me thinks Hawkins will be someone to keep an eye on. His frame certainly could stand to add some beef, but he could just play at or around 240-pounds and be a stand-up 3-4 defensive end. There is a lot to like in Jibran’s game and he seems to fit the growing trend of large dudes who move well in space.