(*Editor's note...What the heck does "Commitment to Eight" mean? It is our new recurring title for recruit commitments referencing a commitment to work towards the Gopher's Eighth National Championship. A little bit tongue in cheek, but why not right?)
The Gophers picked up their 7th commitment of the 2017 recruiting cycle and just their second from outside the Minnesota borders. Javan Hawes is a Georgia native who was visiting this weekend for the summer BBQ and gave the staff his verbal commitment Saturday.
Hawes and his family are currently in Georgia but he grew up in Ohio and actually has family in Minnesota so the jump north isn't terribly surprising. He had offers from smaller schools in Georgia, Miami (OH) and Purdue.
Ryan Burns of GopherIllustrated ($).
We were not expecting to love it so much here, but my parents are 100% behind this decision with me. We couldn't agree more that Minnesota is the perfect place for me. Also, the coaches said I’m going to be a vertical threat and they need someone that can run downfield and make plays. They love my route running, they said it’s very clean and they said they need guys like me to make plays. Sawvel also told me I could play defensive back for him if I play it as a senior, and that I could pick which side of the ball I'd want to play then.
More love for the University and Minnesota from The Gopher Report.
I didn’t really even know Minnesota was like this. People are really sleeping on Minnesota. They were just thinking it’s one of those schools that are boring and there’s nothing to do. But the campus is second-to-none. Today, there was the barbecue, and I just felt like I was at home. Even if I didn’t play football, I could see myself here for four or five years.
(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables**
** The section title is intentionally facetious regarding how recruiting sites (and even some college coaches) notoriously exaggerate traditional combine measures -- especially the 40. No offense is meant.
Weight: 180 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: cannot find one yet
Big 4 Ratings:
Remember, when the stars are low or don't exist, we trust the coaching staff. Then when they have a lot of stars, we know we've got the next Gopher great.
In Two Words - if you have to remember just two things about this player...
Depends on what position Hawes ends up playing. It appears for now that he will bring his speed to the offensive side of the ball. Offensively I would make an early comparison to Eric Carter. He is pretty smooth running his routes, stands around 6'0" and has good speed. If he were to add some more upper body strength a KJ Maye comparison isn't out of the question either.
If he makes the jump to defense and plays corner I would make an wildly more absurd comparison. I'd link him to another unranked recruit who played WR in high school before making the jump to defense where he used his length and speed to eventually be drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs. Absurd to compare him to Eric Murray? Yup, but why not?
I think due to his size (not small exactly but not big either) I think you'll see Hawes fill into the slot. Good speed, decent enough size and really seems to be a great fit as a slot receiver who is capable of getting deep down the seem.
Impact on Other Prospects?
I do not expect a lot of WR commits in this year's class. Two receivers were picked up last year in Drew Hmielewsky and Philip Howard. And with only 1 senior receiver on the current roster, I don't think this position is a huge priority in this class. Another WR commit is entirely possible but I would it expect it to be a bigger, outside guy.
Recruit Map Update