Dana Dimel and his staff hit the ground running, putting together a recruiting class where none existed. The Miners already have a JC quarterback commit in Kai Locksley, the former Texas QB/receiver, and looks like they've locked down a prep QB in Brayden Hawkins from Myers Park High School in North Carolina.
24/7 lists Hawkins as a composite 2-star recruit, he has interest from Ball State and some Division II schools, though some Power 5s were sniffing around. Hawkins transferred twice in high school, two schools in South Carolina, before settling at Myers Park. Some hypothesize that his transient high school career scared away potential suitors, but an article in the Charlotte Observer seems to dispel any idea that he's a selfish kid, jumping from opportunity to opportunity.
We took a look at his Hudl film to get a preliminary impression of Hawkins. Our usual Hudl disclaimer: all these highlight videos are limited, you won't see incompletions, interceptions, stumbles, fumbles, farts, or falls. Every player on Hudl scores on every play or at least dominates fools. What we're looking at it is the system the player played in, basic mechanics, size compared to other players, and some other more objective measures.
Here's what we saw in Hawkins' highlights:
- He looks like a legit 6-3, 215. Hawkins has a nice frame, seems well put together (writing these sentences makes us feel creepy, just know that, but such is recruiting and assessment).
- At Myers Park, he ran a spread system, lots of vertical routes, a little zone read, looks to be all shotgun based.
- As a junior at Dillon in South Carolina, he threw for 2,734 yards and 31 touchdowns. Dillon made the state finals, losing 29-27.
- He improved those numbers at Myers Park with 3,317 yards and 34 touchdowns. Myers Park went 12-2 last season.
- He completed 69% of his passes as a senior.
- His eye school coach raves about his relentless work effort and how he's a true student of the game.
- Myers Park had a couple of talented receivers, Muhsin Muhammad, son of the former Carolina Panther receiver, a sophomore with offers from several ACC teams and Elijah Bowick, a Virginia Tech commit.
- Hawkins has a big arm; he can let it fly. His trunk and feet are quiet, which is good, but sometimes he tends to muscle the ball without much lower torso help.
- He has a quick motion, even with a slight holstering motion (bringing the ball from the throwing position back down to the hip and up again before release)
- Not afraid to throw over the middle.
- Not a plus athlete, but a long strider and moves well in the pocket to create time.
- Hudl lists him at a 4.7 40, and that seems accurate.
All in all, Hawkins looks like a steal for the Miners and OC Mike Canales. You can't teach 6'3, 215, it's either there or it isn't. With his arm strength and work ethic, he could be a valuable contributor down the road.