Ohio State’s 2016 recruiting class – the country’s fourth-ranked class – featured 25 signees from 11 states. Many of those players are expected to contribute to the Buckeyes’ on-field success early in their careers.
Join Landof10.com as we introduce you to the next wave of Buckeyes in our Young Bucks series.
Today’s freshman focus is on tight end Kierre Hawkins.
Who is Kierre Hawkins?
The country’s 11th-ranked tight end, Kierre Hawkins comes to Ohio State from Maple Heights High School in Northeast Ohio. Hawkins, one of three tight ends signed by the Buckeyes in 2016, had five scholarship offers, including one from Kentucky.
- Height: 6 feet 3
- Weight: 245
- Number: 24
- Hometown: Maple Heights (Ohio)
- High School: Maple Heights
- Composite Ranking: 11 (TE)
- High School Highlights
Why didn’t Hawkins have more offers? Simply put, when the Buckeyes offered, everyone knew he’d eventually end up at Ohio State. Urban Meyer’s program offered him on Sept. 30, 2014, and Hawkins committed just three weeks later on Oct. 18. Hawkins never visited another school.
“It’s the dream. My dream school,” Hawkins said of Ohio State. “I always wanted to go there. I can’t pass up on my dream, I’ve been working on it for forever.”
What does he bring to Ohio State?
More so than Jake Hausmann and Luke Farrell, the other two tight ends signed by Ohio State in February, Kierre Hawkins is a versatile athlete who can do a lot of different things in the Buckeyes’ offense. At Maple Heights, Hawkins played quarterback, running back, wide receiver and even defense. That’s where he separates himself from his classmates, though they may be a bit more polished and ready at tight end.
What Hawkins ultimately brings to Ohio State, though, is a tireless work ethic and a hunger to be great.
Will he play as a freshman?
We feel confident saying that Kierre Hawkins will not play as a freshman at Ohio State. An exceptional athlete, Hawkins needs time and seasoning to be a complete player at any position, including tight end. He will need to show that he’s capable as a pass-catcher and a route-runner, but also as a run blocker.
Where Hawkins can make an impact, potentially – but not probably – in 2016 is on special teams. That’s an area where a player of his size and speed can do some serious damage. Whether he’ll do so remains unclear, but at tight end he’s not yet in the conversation.
“The young freshmen still have a way to go,” Urban Meyer said of the tight ends during an Aug. 22 press conference. “Jake Haussmann is a little bit ahead of Luke (Farrell).”
Ohio State fans should expect to see Hawkins make his push in 2017 and beyond.