Lavelle Hawkins (WR)
After previous stops at Louisiana State and San Francisco City College, Lavelle Hawkins found a home as an all-purpose player for the Bears.
In three seasons at California, he ranked seventh in school history with 159 receptions, sixth with 2,273 yards receiving, seventh with 16 touchdown catches and seventh with 3,729 all-purpose yards.
At Edison High School, Hawkins earned Parade All-American honors and was one of the nation's most recruited wide receivers. He was ranked as the fourth-best athlete and 73rd overall player in the United States by Rivals.com, as that service also pegged him the 10th-best overall player in the state of California.
Hawkins gained more than 1,000 yards receiving and 800 yards rushing as a senior, when he was named the Stockton Record's Area Player of the Year. He caught 53 passes for almost 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior, and also collected 75 tackles, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two sacks at free safety.
He enrolled at Louisiana State, attending 2004 spring drills, but then abruptly left the school and enrolled at the City College of San Francisco. He had to sit out the first three games to get his transcripts processed from LSU, but in seven contests, he ranked second on the team with 23 receptions for 525 yards (22.8-yard average) and four touchdowns. He returned nine punts for 135 yards (15.0-yard average) and a score and averaged 48.3 yards on three kickoff returns, returning one for a touchdown.
In 2005, Hawkins transferred to California. He played in nine games, sitting out the opener vs. Sacramento State awaiting the NCAA Clearinghouse to approve his transfer and sat out the Arizona game with a high left ankle sprain. He started three games, coming up with 18 catches for 171 yards (9.5-yard average) and a touchdown. He gained 31 yards on three reverses and 129 yards on seven kickoff returns (18.4 avg).
As a junior, Hawkins earned All-Pac-10 Conference honorable mention. He started five of 13 games as a slot receiver, finishing second on the squad with 46 grabs for 705 yards (15.3-yard average) and five touchdowns. He also carried three times for 36 yards.
Rated the top senior wide receiver in the country by ESPN entering the season, Hawkins secured All-Pac-10 Conference second-team accolades, despite starting just two of 13 games at split end. He led the team with a career-high 72 catches, the fourth-best in Cal history. He gained 872 receiving yards (12.1-yard average), good for ninth on the school's single-season list. He also had six touchdown receptions.
Hawkins also rushed seven times for 60 yards and returned 42 kickoffs for a school-record 922 yards (22-yard average) and a touchdown. He finished fourth in the conference with 1,854 all-purpose yards, the third-best season total in school history.
In 35 games at California, Hawkins started 10 games. He caught 136 passes for 1,748 yards (12.9-yard average) and 12 touchdowns. He rushed 13 times for 127 yards (9.8-yard average) and made a pair of solo tackles. He returned 49 kickoffs for 1,051 yards (21.4 avg) and a score, as he also amassed 2,926 all-purpose yards.
For his entire collegiate career, Hawkins started 17 of 42 games. He gained 2,273 yards with 16 touchdowns on 159 receptions (14.3-yard average). He totaled 125 yards on 14 carries (8.9 avg) and 1,196 yards with a pair of scores on 52 kickoff returns (23.0 avg). He also returned nine punts for 135 yards (15.0 avg) and a touchdown, generating 3,729 all-purpose yards, an average of 88.79 yards per game.
A junior-college SuperPrep All-America selection ... flagged down 23 passes for 525 yards and four touchdowns in only seven games as one of Joe Ayoob's favorite targets on the state runner-up club (22.8 yards per catch) ... also ranked seventh in the state in punt returns in 2004, averaging 15.0 yards on nine attempts ... cranked out 114.7 yards per outing in all-purpose yardage ... caught four passes for 56 yards in CCSF's narrow loss to College of the Canyons in the California community college state championship game ... originally attended LSU in the spring of 2004 before transferring to CCSF.
Attended Edison (Stockton, Cal.) High School, playing football for head coach Booker Guyton...Earned Parade All-American honors and was one of the nation's most recruited wide receivers...Ranked as the fourth-best athlete and 73rd overall player in the United States by Rivals.com, as that service also pegged him the tenth-best overall player in the state of California...Gained more than 1,000 yards receiving and 800 yards rushing as a senior, when he was named the Stockton Record's Area Player of the Year...Caught 53 passes for almost 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior, and also collected 75 tackles, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two sacks at free safety.
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Positives: Has an athletic, slender physique with lean muscle tone, a bit high-cut, but shows tapered thighs and calves...Has large, soft hands to extend for the ball away from his frame, compensating for shorter-than-ideal arms...Had good production in several games as a senior, when his athletic ability took over, but still needs to develop better football skills (timing on leaps, blocking, concentration)...Has the valid timed speed, body control and hand-eye coordination to run under most throws, but does need to refine his route-running...When his head is in the game and he gets a clean release, he is quick to get into his patterns...Better working in the zone, as he does an efficient job of settling into the soft area...Does a nice job of keeping his feet inbounds when working along the sideline...Runs with pitter-patter steps, showing good change-of-direction agility...Likes to dive for the low throws, showing good ability to adjust...Will get good position in attempts to twist and adjust to the ball in flight...Although not exceptionally fast, he shows the ability to get deep...When he locates the defender, he is capable of executing double moves to elude after the catch (will try to run over his man, at times)...Will catch with his body, but not as a crutch and does show good extension with his hands to pluck outside his framework despite a short reach...Does a good job of coming back for the ball when the quarterback has to scramble...Secures the ball close to his body and shows better vision locating seams and following blocks on kickoff returns than he does as a receiver...Has good balance to turn the corner when executing the reverse...Even though he rounds his cuts, he does show good hip sink, especially on control routes or settling in underneath...Plays better vs. the cushion than the press as he can't power through...Not real sudden, but when he utilizes his quickness and gets a clean release, he can get into his routes (rolling start hurts him vs. the press).
Negatives: Bit high-cut and needs to drastically improve his overall strength...Has very short arms (29 5/8-inch length) and marginal leaping ability (26 1/2-inches), struggling to compete for the jump balls...Better athlete than player, as he will go through stretches of mental lapses on the field...Might struggle digesting a complicated playbook, as he needs more than several reps to retain plays...Needs to do a better job of scanning the field, as he is not always alert to coverage...Lacks consistency in his running stride, as he will take soft-angle cuts and tends to drift some on deep patterns...Hears footsteps going for the ball in a crowd and this loss of concentration leads to several drops of catchable throws...Has good timed speed, but lacks consistency with his initial burst off the line, as he will more likely take a rolling start rather than an explosive one...Must show better plant-and-drive agility coming out of his breaks, taking false steps, and must learn the concept of route progression...Not always alert to the cushion and needs to use his second gear better to get behind the defensive back...Makes only passive swipes as a blocker, showing strong disinterest in applying himself in that area...Disappears for long stretches when not involved in the play...Does not consistently use his speed to get free after the catch and, even though he lacks strength, he tries to run through tackles rather than elude...Likes to "talk trash," but his lack of consistency prevents him from backing up those boasts...Emotional type that can be taken out of his game by a physical defender...Must develop better hand placement in attempts to escape the jam...Gets held up at the line often...Lacks crispness in his cuts and will round and spends a lot of time running into the defender rather than around him.
Compares To: NATE BURLESON-Seattle...Hawkins is similar to Burleson in that he could be an efficient kickoff returner at the next level and has too much inconsistency in his game as a receiver. Hawkins has valid speed, but seems to shy away from contact, showing disinterest as a blocker. He is not the most urgent runner of pass routes, executing sloppy patterns and a lack of vision to locate the zone's soft areas. Produced catches as a senior, but the numbers came in spurts and for every solid game Hawkins had, there were several where he disappeared. He has shorter-than-ideal arm length and marginal leaping ability, making him a nonexistent factor in jump-ball situations. Like Burleson, Hawkins' athletic ability is far ahead of his football skill. While some might be impressed with his potential, he is more of a boom-or-bust player than the "next great thing."
2005: Sat out the Arizona game (10/01) with a high left ankle sprain.
2006: Bothered by a right ankle sprain and bruised ribs early in the season.
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