So while surfing ESPN a week ago and looking at stats, I noticed that today would be Lavelle Hawkins’ 21st birthday. So I thought I’d give him a happy birthday shout-out and give a few reasons why he’s destined for an excellent year in 2007.
1) He’s fast. He’s a sub 4.4 seconds fast. In the Cal weight room there are placards on the wall showing the top lifts and fastest times. Hawk is on the Top 5 All-Time All-Positions list for fastest 40 times.
2) He’s elusive. We really don’t get to see much of his elusiveness since he doesn’t return punts and only occasionally returns kickoffs, but if you give him some space to work with… watch out.
3) He’ll be opposite of THA1. Most teams this upcoming season will probably be focused on shutting down DeSean Jackson’s Heisman campaign by employing double teams or shifting coverage his way. In reality, they should be double teaming both THA1 and Hawk. But since most teams won’t do this, it will leave Hawk one on one or at least give him bigger holes in the zones to sit in.
4) Nate Longshore is only getting better. Last year we witnessed Longshore put up decent numbers for a guy who essentially had the game time experience of a freshman. Couple that with the fact that Tedford added some new wrinkles to the offense and you really can’t expect much better than 60% completion percentage and a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio. So props to Longshore, and how ’bout a "hell yeah!" for knowing that Longshore is only going to get better!
5) Hawk is from Stockton, CA (as am I). In case you didn’t know, when it comes to dangerous cities in California, only Oakland is more dangerous. Whimpy ol’ LA and SF ain’t got nothin on Stockton. In fact, Stockton is #22 in a 2005 FBI study of cities with a population over 250,000 people. Yeah, Hawk and I had it tough. Let me tell you that the day you’re born, you’re wearing kevlar instead of Pampers. And that the day you can walk you’re dodging bullets from then on. And that after a few Stockton summers of over 100 degrees fahrenheit, you can walk through the flames of the molotov cocktails landing in front of you. And you become a really fast runner for having to chase down the thugs in your car which has just been stolen off your driveway. And that you become really good at eluding the defense in touch football from all the times you had to dodge the thrusts and swipes of shanks in the hands of merciless gangbangers. Yeah, Stockton is a dangerous place to live. And the fact that Hawk made it out alive is a testament to his toughness and athleticism. Oh, and mine too.
HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY, LAVELLE HAWKINS! May the football gods bless you with 21 receptions per game, a 21 yards per catch average, and 21 touchdowns next year!