Former UAB receiver Hawkins headed to IU

It all happened so fast — both the shuttering of Alabama-Birmingham’s football program and the scramble to find a new home.

Former three-star receiver Marqui Hawkins found the latter in Bloomington.

Hawkins announced Wednesday that he will transfer to Indiana, filling a need for more skill players in a young receiving corps. Hawkins sat out this past season after transferring from Florida in April. He’ll have three years of eligibility remaining and will be available immediately.

“It’s a great campus and the coaches treated me well,” Hawkins said of his visit to IU last weekend. “The players treated me well (and) I just loved everything.”

Hawkins, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound native of Columbus, Ga., was considered the No. 25 receiver in the nation in 2013. Former high school teammate Kiante Walton hosted Hawkins on his visit.

He was joined on the visit by UAB teammate Jordan Howard, who finished his sophomore season ranked No. 7 in the nation with 132.3 rushing yards per game. Although Hawkins said he and Howard aren’t necessarily a package deal, Howard would be the logical heir to IU running back Tevin Coleman should he enter the NFL Draft. NFL.com reported Wednesday night that Coleman is expected to make a decision on his future in the next week.

“If I come, it doesn’t mean he’s gonna come,” Hawkins said. “He’s got a couple more visits to make before he makes a decision.”

UAB went 6-6 this season, but was not invited to a bowl game after announcing last week that it was terminating its football program due to increased costs.

Given the turbulence of the situation, Hawkins seemed happy to have a new place to play.

“It’s been bad down here,” he said. “It’s shocking that our program was shut down. We came to practice and at the end of the day it was gone. It was crazy. It was heartbreaking that they took our program away from us knowing we had a bowl game coming up. Now we gotta scramble to find places to play at.”

In other IU football recruiting news, former four-star Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly tweeted Wednesday that he was transferring from a Mississippi junior college to Ole Miss. Kelly visited Bloomington for the Nov. 29 game against Indiana.

14 comments

  1. Great to see IU getting some tried and true quality at WR. Wishing his RB teammate opts for IU too. Too bad about Chad Kelly not choosing IU. Any idea who else IU might grab at QB since Tommy Stevens signed with Penn State after initially committing to IU? Seems I saw that IU would like to get 25 recruits signed. With only 11 signed on I guess I was expecting more activity in football recruiting in order to approach 25 signees. Do you have any further scoop on football recruits, guys under the radar?

  2. Two points, very happy to see that we went after a quality receiver like Marqui Hawkins and he will sign with the Hoosiers and will likely be an important part of our receiving corps. He certainly made the right decision from all aspects; a quality-quality university, a football program on the rise and a coach in Kevin Wilson who is considered one of the best minds in college football when it comes to the passing game and receivers.

    In the same breath, however, the writer seem to be conceding the running back position to Hawkins’ teammate at UAB, the excellent Jordan Howard, if he too chooses to transfer to Indiana. We would all like to see that happen. But…please, pause before selecting the 2015 Hoosier football offense and declaring Howard the running back, in December 2014 before he has even herd of State Road 37. First, selecting the IU starting offensive eleven is not the role of the reporter; it is the role of the coaches and, for the reporter to simply report. Second, in case Coleman does not come back, there are players like Redding and other solid rising sophomores who have shown great potential may have (or want) something to say about the position and their chances, or at least they’d like to think they do.

    Speculation by a writer, while it makes good copy carries little that is reliable, or, in most cases, informative; particularly, since Coach Wilson is well known for letting player performance dictate who plays what positions and when. Let him do his job and, surely, Wilson will avoid writing sports stories at your desk.

  3. As far as 2015 recruiting goes the staff is courting a bevy of high level recruits. They will get there share. The only hitch I would see at this time is they may fall shy of the projected # of 25. Wilson will not add lower level talent just to get to the #.

    Hawkins is a good get and will offer strong competition for Simmie and Booth but he has yet to play a down of D1 ball. So he has some seasoning, proving and earning to do.

    If former UAB RB Howard ends up at IU he stands a good chance to be the #1 back in our offensive rotation. He carries B1G size 6’1″, 230 lb. and as a Sophomore hauled the skin for 1500+ yd., 13 TD’s and a game high of 262 yd. He played in C-USA but is B1G caliber ready.

  4. Given that Wisconsin’s head coach just resigned (something’s not right up in Madison) to take the job at Oregon State (of all places), maybe we can poach a few Badger commits (especially after they got destroyed 59-0 by OSU). Didn’t we have a verbally committed player from Illinois who recently changed his mind when Wisconsin came a calling? Anyway, having Michigan and Wisconsin at a disadvantage because of their respective coaching vacancies, if IU can’t take advantage of that, somebody’s got some explaining to do.

    Tsao, how ironic you, as a former journalist, chastise Mike Miller for “speculating” while in the same post you wrote IU football is “a football program on the rise” and “Kevin Wilson who is considered one of the best minds in college football when it comes to the passing game and receivers.” I’d love to see your sources for those two comments. If you want to see an example of a college football program “on the rise,” I suggest you examine the job Jerry Kill and his staff at Minnesota have done. That’s a football program on the rise! Last time I looked, a “program” which won fewer games in its most recent season compared to its previous season, and which has yet to produce a winning season, is not even close to being considered “a program on the rise.” While I applaud your optimism about IU Football’s future, I found it strange that you, as a former journalist, wood make those highly dubious statements immediately after criticizing the “story’s” author. Is the pot calling the kettle black?

  5. Anyone read the interview with Jerry Kill (“Words with Jerry Kill” by L. Jon Wertheim) in the December 1 issue of Sports Illustrated? I found it interesting how Coach Kill said, in reference to his ability to keep all of his top assistant coaches from program to program, “When you’re turning programs around, it’s good to have that (coaching) continuity because they (the assistant coaches) understand what you do, and you don’t have to teach somebody.” Maintaining the continuity of the key assistants is one key difference between Kills experience at MN and Wilson’s experience at IU. Remember, they were both hired in their current jobs on the same day.

    Kill talks about leading MN to three Bowl games in his four years on the job, and that the team’s goals are to “win the Big Ten Championship” and “go to the Rose Bowl.” But we should be encouraged by his comment, “It’s getting harder to turn programs around. People have to be more patient. That’s hard in this business. But to get where we want to get (Big Ten Champions, Rose Bowl, etc), it’s going to take six or seven years. It’s just the way it is.” After reading the interview, one can’t help but notice the difference in the two programs’ respective trajectories.

  6. IU and Minn. football programs are different types of animals and have been for decades. Kill’s interview also did not mention the advantagious schedule enjoyed 3 out of 4 years. Kill is a good coach but don’t waste time trying to downgrade ours.

  7. Podunker-

    Haven’t you recently said that we would have won a considerable amount of more games if Sudfeld hadn’t gone down(I believe it was on the Coleman/Heisman thread).

    Couldn’t those extra wins you envisioned with a healthy Sudfeld constitute a program on the rise?

    And we shouldn’t forget that we had Covington(a legit dual threat) also go down..

    Considering your own statements concerning wins that slipped away(and a Heisman nomination that slipped away)due to the loss of Sudfeld, and a visibly hungrier defense that did about as much as you could ask with the other side of the ball so stymied, it’s baffling that you go contrary to the earlier message you were communicating.

  8. Please. No more Podunker/Tsao wars. Let the respective blogger have the satisfaction of being “right” and just move on to greener pastures. That’s why I left this place for a month.

    The defense was/is indeed hungry Harvard. I was proud of our defense for making some serious headway. We’re improving. Sudfeld’s injury put us back a bit, but the season wasn’t a loss. The players are hungry and it’s obvious these kids want/willing to be coached up and learn. The story of the rise of IU Football is far from closed. We have the coach and AD to turn this thing around.

  9. HC and Harvard, you’re reading things into my posts that don’t exist. I’m not denigrating Wilson or IU football, but it’s simply not credible to identify IU Football as “a program on the rise.”

    Yes, I believe Sudfeld’s injury cost IU two wins and a bowl game this season. But it shouldn’t have! A lot of other schools lost key players to injury and they were not left with such a huge performance void. Look at Ohio State. Their third string QB made his first start in the Big Ten Championship and lead his team to an epic beat-down of the #13 ranked team in the nation. It is Wilson’s responsibility to make sure he has back-ups ready to step in and perform when starters go down. Obviously, IU had no back-up quarterbacks ready to step in and play at a high level when Sudfeld went down. Covington is an outstanding athlete and he may turn out to be a great QB some day, but he was not ready to replace Sudfeld this season. For goodness sake, he was a linebacker going into summer camp!

    As for the non-conference schedules between IU and MN, no one cares and no one will remember. But it’s not like IU had to climb Mt. Everest this year either. BGSU, North Texas, Indiana State were not world beaters, and we lost to one of those teams. The way you build your college football program is to produce winning seasons and lead your team to bowl games. That generates notoriety, fan support, increases attendance and revenue, enhances recruiting, and expands practice time and game experience. It simply makes the program stronger as it goes forward. Jerry Kill has done that in three of his first four years at MN. Simply put, Wilson has not.

    We need to stop making excuses. You can’t fix a problem unless you’re willing to admit it exists. Now, here’s hoping Wilson and staff can poach a few more high quality players from WI, MI, or UAB.

  10. Always tickles me Po has to reposition in following posts what he states in previous posts and it is the readers fault by not understanding the post or supposing it to say something different. As if we can’t read words properly.

    Also Po the QB situation at OSU is much different than at IU. Barrett was getting 30-40% of the practice reps before Miller went down and even with that his 1st 2 games showed some poor play. As soon as Barrett started taking 1st string reps Jones the Sophomore started taking Barrett’s former reps. IU’s 2nd string QB bails on IU in June. Covington and Boudreaux start sharing 2nd string reps in Fall camp. How do you then get the 5th string QB up to speed to take over when 1 & 2 go down in the same game? Coach Wilson is a damn good FB coach but a damn poor. Houdini.
    .

  11. Not repositioning anything. Tell me where in this string my comments denigrate Wilson or IU Football. I simply argue that it is not accurate to make the claim that IU Football is a program on the rise. Four consecutive losing seasons disqualifies as a program on the rise. If we win six next year, we’ll be able to make that claim. But right now, it’s just not credible.

    I appreciate your support and loyalty of Wilson, but he’s yet to prove that he’s “a damn good (head) FB coach.” I will say that he is a damn good offensive football coach. That point aside, I hope you’re right. I want it to be true. But just because you say it does not make it so. Damn good football coaches produce winning seasons. Wilson may finally do that next year and for years to come, but after four seasons as IU’s head coach, he has yet to do it. My guess is that he’s got two more years to prove that he is in deed a damn good head football coach.

  12. PO- yeah, something smelly in Madison, which I called out on a post way back when Bielema bailed out for Ark. As to KW’s ability re: QBs and receivers, my anecdotal evidence comes by way of my brother in law (IU ’80) who lives next door to (and occasionally golfs with) the head coach of a program regularly in the top 25 and faced KW when both were assts. in the Big 12 (or whatever it was/is) and said head coach ‘s opinion was that KW is “an offensive genius.” My bro in law is pretty cynical about IUFB, so I’m pretty sure that he’s not puffing up the assessment of his neighbor. I have to admit that KW’s chops as a head coach remain suspect, but there it is from someone who probably knows more about football coaches than any of us. Agree completely with your last three sentences in post 13. Actually, the whole post.

    H4H- hope you saw that I answered your query of me in an earlier post.

    H4H- hope you saw my post in another thread

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