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Draft Buzz: Catching up with Louisville RB Javian Hawkins

Javian Hawkins Louisville NFL Draft
Louisville RB Javian Hawkins is one of the best running backs in the NFL Draft. He recently sat down with Jon-Michael Salter for this Draft Buzz Interview.

Over the weekend, I had the honor of sitting down with Louisville running back Javian Hawkins. To talk about the latest draft buzz and who he is outside of football? Over the last few years, Hawkins has been a complete problem for ACC defenses. Over the last couple of seasons, Hawkins rushed for almost 2,400 yards and 16 touchdowns. With a long of 90 yards, Hawkins has been a playmaker at the highest level in college football. He is considered undersized at 5’9 200 lbs., but Hawkins has proven time and time again he has the IT factor needed to be a star in the NFL. We spoke briefly about his playing style and the underdog mentality that has helped him be successful in college.

“I feel I have been an underdog my entire life. Do you know what I mean? People expect me to lose and want me to lose. I have dealt with people saying I couldn’t do something my whole life. So when I hear I am undersized or I can’t make it, it just makes me work harder. I used it to my advantage and to fuel my energy. I smile and keep it moving. Let them talk, Let them doubt me, and I will do my thing. I know God can take it all away from you at any moment, so I work my butt off at all moments. I love this game, and I love playing it at a high level. As far as my style of play, I feel like I am explosive. I don’t mean to sound cocky or arrogant, I am just confident I can play at the highest level. I can be successful in the NFL. I love football and what it can do for my family, and me. Get me in space, and I can take it to the house. Whether it is a run or a pass I know I can score. I know how to do the little things too. I like to block. People think I can’t or won’t because I am smaller. But look at my tape. Look at my film and see what I can do. I do all the little things that you need a runner to do.”

Moving forward, Hawkins spoke about the draft buzz and hype he has received as of late.

“Yeah, I hear it. Man, I just keep it pushing. I can’t sit here and listen to all of that. I stay focused on my game. I stay focused on being the best me I can be. I have to keep my head on these little things that will make me a better player. Not keep my head in the clouds. I don’t want to lose my focus.” 

While Hawkins came off confident in his playing style, it was a humble approach to it all that stood out to me. He is aware of his skill set but spoke about getting better. I was intrigued by his personality, so I reached out to a tight-end Ean Pfeifer, a teammate of Hawkins for the last two years, to ask him what Hawkins?

“Oh, man, Hawkins is the best! He is a great guy and teammate. Javian always shows up. On the field, he is explosive and a guy that you trust in the big moments. But outside of football, he is someone that you want on your sideman. I love that guy. I love playing with him, and I know he is going to be a star in the NFL.”

The Titusville, Florida native has been an absolute standout on tape. He has a natural running ability. Meaning he looks comfortable with the ball in his hands and taking off. His speed is a problem for defenses because he can cut well and catch the ball out the backfield. He is truly a player that can score from anywhere on the field. Offensive coaches salivate over a player with Hawkins tools. Knowing all of this, I wanted to know if his athletic ability is natural, or something he works at?

“You know a lot of it is natural. As a kid, I liked to play the safety position. The last line of defense if anybody breaks loose. So I have always been the guy or a guy that you can lean on to make a play. Where I am from in Titusville, you see tons of talent. Tons of guys that can play ball. Seriously some guys can play offense, defense, football, basketball, any sports. So growing up around tons of talent, you are always training to be a good player. You are always working on your athletic ability. I feel like, while I do work on my skill every day. I have a lot of ability that I grew up having.”

The draft buzz on Javian Hawkins seems to become more apparent daily. He has natural speed. He has eye discipline to set up blockers. His burst can keep defensive coordinators up at night. Simply put, he is a playmaker. Like I always say, watch the film.

Veteran, Father, Husband, football lover. Sports writer.

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