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May 14, 2012Tweet Follow @InsideTheGators
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On Monday the University of Florida football coaching staff continued their strong run in the class of 2013 when they received a verbal commitment from Columbus (Ga.) Carver wide receiver Marqui Hawkins.
Hawkins said that his current high school coach helped him make the decision.
"He just kept putting it in my ear that Florida is the best school and I have liked them for a long time," Hawkins said of the Gators. "So I was just thinking that I should become a part of that family at Florida."
Originally the Gators offered Hawkins as a cornerback, but on Monday Hawkins said that he had made his commitment to suit up on the other side of the ball.
"They want me at receiver right now," said Hawkins. "They said that they know I can play defense also, but Coach [Will] Muschamp said he wants me at receiver. They changed that today when I came out and committed. Coach [Brian] White will be out there tomorrow to see me at practice."
Hawkins said he decided over the weekend that he wanted to wear the Orange and Blue and then went ahead and made it official on Monday.
"Me and my coach sat down yesterday (Sunday) and talked about it," explained Hawkins. "I just went ahead and told him (Muschamp) the good news (Monday), and he was real happy. He was like, 'Really Hawk?' and he was like screaming and said, 'Welcome to the Gator family.'"
At first, when he was offered as a cornerback, Hawkins was being mainly recruited by Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, but since UF started recruiting him for offense, he said he mainly deals with running backs coach Brian White.
Hawkins said he likes what he has heard from White.
"He has been talking about coming in and playing as a true freshman and that I could be a big factor to the team."
Besides Florida Hawkins has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss, Miss St, Ohio State, North Carolina, Tennessee and Southern Cal on each side of the ball. He has hinted before that schools offering on offense had a slight advantage, and that was huge in why he pulled the trigger for Florida.
"That was big in my pick," said Hawkins. "I wanted to play offense."
Hawkins also had planned to make the trip to Florida's spring game last month, but missed it due to travel problems. While he has yet to visit Gainesville, he said that is coming in the near future.
"I plan on visiting there in a couple weeks; I haven't really worked out what day or anything like that."
While Hawkins says that he is happy with his commitment to Florida, he still plans to look around.
"I still will look around; I also had my eye on Clemson, Auburn, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and Ole Miss," admitted Hawkins. "I don't know where, but this summer I plan on taking a lot of visits. I'm just very excited right now."