Glenn High’s Hawkins joins older brother at East Carolina

Glenn High’s Hawkins joins older brother at East Carolina
August 13
00:00 2015

In above photo: East Carolina University Pirates logo

On recruiting visits, an athlete’s perception of a school’s environment plays a vital role on which school the athlete will choose.

Such was the case for Glenn defensive back Dedrick Hawkins, a three-time All-Piedmont Triad Conference pick.

Hawkins entertained offers from Lenoir-Rhyne, Mars Hill and The Citadel, but opted to look elsewhere.

Eventually, he narrowed his choices to UNC Charlotte and East Carolina, two schools that didn’t offer scholarships.

It didn’t matter to him that he would have to try-out as a walk-on.

“For me, the atmosphere is so important,” said Hawkins, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound safety. “I chose East Carolina because of the high level of competition. Being in that kind environment will help to bring out the very best in me.”

East Carolina has played in eight bowl games over the last nine seasons.

Another plus is that Hawkins has an older brother, Josh, who plays for the Pirates.

The elder Hawkins is a senior and two-year starter who ranks among the top cornerbacks in the country.

A year ago, Josh Hawkins, also a Glenn graduate, was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, the Heisman Trophy equivalent for defensive backs.

Four years ago, Josh Hawkins made East Carolina’s roster as a walk-on.

This year, he’s listed by several national publications as a pre-season all-league pick for the American Athletic Conference.

“We’ve never played on the same team before, so I’m looking forward to having a great experience,” said the younger Hawkins, who recorded six tackles in the East-West All-Star Game. “I look at what Josh did and realize that we both come from the same background.

“So, I feel like I can make it just like he did. Josh has always told me to follow in his steps, but in doing so, to leave a bigger footprint.”

Given the family connection, one might assume that older brother would have a huge influence on the younger brother’s choice of schools.

Dedrick explained that he never felt any pressure to play college football with big brother.

“Josh didn’t try to recruit me,” said Dedrick, an All-Northwest pick and former Crosby Scholars president who had a 4.0 weighted grade-point average in high school.

“I never felt like he tried to influence my decision one way or the other. He always told me to follow my heart.”

Dedrick Hawkins is best suited to play safety.

He has the range to cover from sideline to sideline and the ball awareness that’s critical for the position.

With his size and speed (4.54 seconds in the 40-yard dash), he’s strong enough to provide solid run support and fast enough to cover receivers, running backs and tight ends.

“I’ve learned from Josh how important it is to stay on top of my studies and not get sidetracked,” said Hawkins, who plans to major in Computer Science. “To be at my best, it’s important for me to work diligently and not take any days off. I have to keep striving to keep getting better at what I do. ”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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