When Scott Satterfield and staff took over at the University of Louisville, they looked to improve a handful of aspects regarding recruiting; one of those aspects was recruiting in-state prospects. Excluding the 2021 class, the Cardinals have brought in three players from the Bluegrass state (Aidan Robbins, Josh Minkins Jr, Jordan Watkins). With that being said, the strong Kentucky presence in the 2022 cycle will give Louisville the opportunity to double those numbers. The staff has already begun turning up the heat on various in-state prospects like Gavin Wimsatt, Selah Brown, Dane Key, etc. Another to keep an eye on is Somerset tight end Michael Hawkins.
The 6-foot-5, 235 lbs three-star is rated as the 526th-best recruit nationally in the 2022 class, and eighth-best in the state (247Sports Composite). Hawkins has seen his stock begin to take off, as he has reeled in offers from Vanderbilt and Army, which is where his father played. Despite not having an offer from Louisville at this time, he stays in constant contact with the coaching staff. “The staff is awesome,” Hawkins explained. “I speak with Coach (Stu) Holt the most; he sends me pictures of away stadiums on game days. I also hear from Coach (ShaDon) Brown as well.” The relationships don’t stop there, however. “I think I might be related to Coach Ledford oddly enough,” he added.
It’s still early in his recruitment, and the ongoing pandemic has not helped the cause. “COVID threw a huge curveball into recruiting,” Hawkins said. “No summer camps on campus, camps or combines, 7-on-7’s, or visiting with the team and coaches has made the preparations for this season somewhat lonely and limited.” As of now, he’s taking his time and seeing what schools have to offer. Hawkins would like to make a decision before his senior season, but understands the obstacles that the coronavirus has introduced. Additionally, he plans on taking his five official visits.
In terms of Louisville, an offer from the Cards would be an important one. “An offer from UofL would be huge,” Hawkins explained. “I have respect for the program and the new staff; the vibe around them and the new offense stands out. The recruiting staff is impressive, too. Also, I love the ACC; it’s a great conference with a great schedule.”
In Satterfield’s offense, the tight end is utilized in a variety ways. Whether it be in run-blocking or being a pivotal receiver, the position is one of need to be able to run the offense successfully. Despite having two tight ends currently committed in the 2021 class, look for Louisville to take at least one in the 2022 cycle.