Name: Marqui Hawkins
Why did he redshirt?
Hawkins came in during the summer and immediately impressed the coaching staff with his physicality. He’s a tough player and was impressing the staff before an injury derailed his season. Hawkins fractured his ankle during workouts and from that point on was destined to redshirt in 2013.
Depth at the position
Receiver is a puzzle that I haven’t quite put together yet. Quinton Dunbar and Ahmad Fulwood will be impact players for Florida in 2014. Beyond that, who know?
Demarcus Robinson couldn’t stay on the field last season — and not due to injury. Chris Thompson is an all right receiver but he’s not a difference-maker. Andre Debose will return but what does that mean? By all reports, Debose was having the best offseason of his career before tearing his ACL but that’s a story that seemingly pops up every offseason to no results on Saturday. The rest of the list at receiver are just guys. None have shown that they can be a difference maker, a standout or a playmaker on Saturday. Not yet at least.
Hawkins is a physical receiver and good blocker out wide. He’s got a good frame and a solid build. He played in a spread offense in high school so moving back to that type of offense this season should benefit him.
Hawkins is quick off the line and a crisp route-runner. He’s not afraid to go over the middle and catch the ball in traffic and he can go up and out jump defenders, high-pointing the football. He has the ability to play all over the field either out wide or inside in the slot.
Sources told Gator Country that Hawkins was on the track to earn a fair amount of playing time as a freshman before his injury set him back. Will Muschamp also spoke highly of Hawkins early on publically.
Of all the redshirt freshmen, I believe that Hawkins and Rod Johnson have the best opportunity to earn significant playing time this season.