Javian Hawkins came to Louisville from Florida in the 2018 recruiting class. That class had 23 players and 20 signed in the early signing period. Javian decided to wait and sign on the regular national signing day so that he could sign at the same time as his high school teammates. He made his college debut in the infamous rain game against Indiana state. He had one carry for 7 yards. He also caught one pass for four yards. He didn’t see action again until the Georgia Tech game. He had one carry for one yard and fumbled. He wouldn’t see the field again all year and was redshirted.
Going into his redshirt freshman season in 2019, it was believed by most that Javian might get some carries behind Hassan Hall and Dae Williams.But what we saw was much much more that any of us had hoped for. Javian took over at running back and put together a record setting year. Javian set a new Louisville mark for the most rushing yards in a season by a freshman with 1,525 yards. He broke the school mark for rushing yards by a running back and had the third-most yards by a freshman in ACC history. Those 1525 yards were also good enough to rank seventh in the nation in rushing for the 2019 season.
After opting out in this covid stricken year, Javian leaves Louisville with a career total of 2355 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
I want to start by thanking you for taking the time to answer a few questions with me. I also want to thank you on behalf of all Cardinal fans for all your hard work during your time at Louisville.
Here we go…
CSZ – What would you say was your best game of your freshman year? Was it the Clemson game where you snapped their 27 game streak of not allowing a 100 yard rusher…the Virginia game where, in the rain, you rushed for 136 and had 2 scores….or maybe Syracuse where you had 233 yards (10.1avg.)? Or is there another game that you think was your best?
JH – Umm, my best game was Syracuse. I was locked in to my task and I was serious about the game.The BC college game though, the weather was cool and windy, I was loose and that was fun. The Clemson game, definitely was great, snapping that streak.
CSZ – Your sophomore season was one unlike any other in the history of football because of Covid-19. Can you tell us all how difficult it was having to deal with all the rules and having new routines for every single thing you had to do? What was the hardest thing you had to adjust to?
JH – It wasn’t really that different, just more of a headache having to do this and that. But once we got over the hump we got used to it, it wasn’t so bad. It was more time consuming, than anything else. There was not as much free time, and then when we did have free time we couldn’t do anything with all the rules. But the medical staff did a good job keeping everyone safe. It was for the better, I guess. It was definitely hard training not knowing if there would be a season or not.
CSZ – In less than 2 full season, you made your way on the top 10 list of rushing in school history with 2355 yards. Do you think if you stayed another season that you could have made your way to #1? Lamar holds the top spot with 4132 yards.
JH – My ego wants to say yes, but I didn’t stay so I can’t say what I would have done.
CSZ – You get one last meal in Louisville – you could go anywhere in the city for free – you can take some teammates with you. Where you going and who you rolling with?
JH – That’s hard, I’d say my last meal would be Saporro and I’m taking roommate Tyler, Chandler, Sunny Boone and Telly.
CSZ – In your redshirt freshman year, you had one carry against Georgia Tech and you fumbled. Bobby never game you another opportunity the rest of the year. The next year you had 268 touches with Zero fumbles. That’s an absolutely absurd stat. How much did that one fumble inspire or motivate you to make ball security so much of a priority?
JH – It wasn’t ball security, it was just like, it’s crazy because I carried the ball a few times that year and I had either 2 or 3 carries and 1 catch. I played in like 2 or 3 games but nobody remembers. I can’t really worry about it, stuff happens, that one fumble didn’t do it, it’s just that I played.
CSZ – What was it like running behind a guy like Mekhi Becton?
JH – Mekhi is different, he’s freakish, knowing that he will look at you, that way, it’s crazy.God blessed him with this ability and size, he’s got a freak body and he knows how to use it.
CSZ – Foot race! – You, Lamar and Tutu are all lined up on the goal line. Who is the first and who is last to run to the 50 yard line?
JH – Wow! That’s tough. I know I’m gonna jump out at anybody. After then it’s a race, true speed. We all fast. Tutu gets faster as he runs. We need to set that up.
CSZ – Anyone would be happy for the opportunity to play for any team in the NFL but do you have a dream team that you would love to play for? Maybe a team you grew up rooting for? (Please don’t say Pittsburgh)
JH – Nah, I don’t really have favorites or have a particular team. I love the game so much. That’s like when I get asked about players, I just love the game so I don’t have a favorite. I follow the game and love the players.
CSZ – When Bobby Petrino left, you had an opportunity to change schools. You stayed loyal to Louisville. What was it about Satterfield and his staff the made you want to stay at Louisville?
JH – They had a good background. My teammates are what played the biggest role. We all understood each other. They put a lot of love in there and we were all like let’s give them a chance.
CSZ – What part of your game do you think you need to work on the most to have a successful NFL career?
JH – Reading the defense faster, I’m pretty good at reading the defense. But I could be quicker, recognizing the plays.
CSZ – Should Louisville fans be upset that Satterfield listened to an offer from South Carolina? What about the team, should they feel betrayed or upset?
JH – I don’t think anyone should, I know sometimes in business it gets like that. That’s for the fans to think about. I support the fans but I also support Coach Satt. I just gotta play football. I’m sure some felt it but as you see on Twitter they supported Coach.
CSZ – Uniforms seem to be a big deal for the players and the fans. What was your favorite uniform combination?
JH – Probably the all red, because red is my favorite color.
CSZ – After your football career is over, do you see Louisville as a place you could settle down in and call home?
JH – Maybe… or not, because I’m not a fan of the cold. It’s a great city and the food is great.
CSZ – You have the floor to send all the Card fans one last message…
JH – I love you all and miss you all. Thank you to every single one of you for all the love and support. If I could thank each and every one of you I would.
L1C4 Forever Forever.
As Always, GO CARDS!