Fathers can be the best public relations managers for their sons when it comes to the college recruiting game.
Jeff Hawkins, the father of Klein, Texas running back Jared Hawkins (5-10, 178-pounds), is no different. The elder Hawkins played quarterback and baseball at Division III Claring College in Pennsylvania and is enjoying his son's recruiting process.
"We took several visits over the summer and I believe Jared's top schools are Vanderbilt, Missouri and Central Florida," Jeff says. "He has been offered by the Citadel but he's keeping his options open."
Hawkins returns for his senior season after rushing for 1,132 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior in a stingy district, which consists of The Woodlands, Spring, Westfield and Klein Forest. He missed two games with a pulled hamstring.
"He likes Vanderbilt a lot and he thought they would have offered by now," Jared's father says. "They took five backs last year and have moved them around. They want to fill some holes before offering Jared, and they want to keep him at running back."
The Klein runner is academically qualified after receiving his SAT scores back, and could improve on last year's numbers since his school has replaced natural grass with Astro Play turf at Klein Memorial Stadium.
"I feel like my vision and speed get me most of my yards," Jared says. "After I find my holes, I punish out the rest of the yards. I really think I can play running back in college."
"He's a really great kid and has a terrific work ethic," Jeff says. "He's just refining himself right now in the weightroom and he's a leader on and off the field. He's going to have a target on his back this season and it will be important for him to say healthy."
TCU, SMU, Baylor and Arizona will also be tracking Hawkins' play this season.