Today we meet our first offensive player on this year's roster countdown.
#89 TE Jeff Hawkins
Redshirt Senior, 6'4", 261 lbs.
Stats In 2011: Missed the entire 2011 season due to an offseason ACL injury. In 13 previous career games, he generated no statistics.
Current Spot On Depth Chart: Not listed, even though the depth chart goes two deep at two TE positions, and that doesn't include Andreas Shields or Isaac Virgin. (Though it does include Evan Landi now.)
How did he come to USF: From Vanguard High School in Ocala, as part of the 2008 recruiting class. He was USF's first verbal commitment of that recruiting season, and faxed in his letter bright and early on signing day.
Recruiting Rankings: Rivals listed him as a two-star recruit, while Scout rated him at three stars and #35 nationally among tight ends. ESPN ranked him the #48 tight end. Was also recruited by UCF, Maryland, and Georgia Tech.
Projected Playing Time In 2012: Jeff Hawkins is buried on the depth chart behind younger players, missed last season due to a knee injury, has had concussion issues in the past, and already has his degree from USF. But here he is still on the roster, going to practice and making the sacrifices just to be on the team. So playing time isn't about how much he'll get, which is practically nil, but about getting a moment of personal glory as a reward for five years of hard work. Look for the offense to run a pass play for Hawkins in garbage time against Chattanooga, or some other home game, so he can get his name in the receiving statistics. When he gets it, cheer for him.