The Minnesota Golden Gophers recruiting class got stronger on Saturday night when Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek High School wide receiver Javan Hawes decided to make his pledge following a barbecue on an unofficial to Minneapolis.
“It was great, I actually just committed literally a minute ago,” Hawes told Today’s U. “We just got done with the barbecue.”
— Landon Wright (@landonrwright) July 16, 2016
As soon as the 247Sports 82 overall three-star wide out stepped on campus, he knew he had found the place he wanted to live for the next four or five years.
“As soon as I come up here, it felt like home,” Hawes said. “It’s peaceful here and my family loves it too. That was a big thing, I want them to feel comfortable with where I go, so that was a big factor.
“The campus is just beautiful, overall it was the best fit for me. I’m at loss for words, it’s crazy here.”
Hawes chose Minnesota over offers from Purdue, Southern Miss, Miami of Ohio, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and several others. The Golden Gophers coaches are so impressed with the 6-foot, 183-pounder’s athleticism, they told him he could play either side of the ball.
“They said I can choose which side of the ball I want to play when I get here,” Hawes said. “They really love my talent, for me to pick the side of the ball I want to play when I come. This will be my first year playing DB.”
Another thing that really impressed the three-star is that he felt valued as a person, noting that his visit went beyond just being about football.
“Coach Jay Sawvel and coach Brian Anderson were really interested in me and what I was about,” Hawes said. “They talked about academics and how good of a place it is there for that and that’s what stood out to me. They just didn’t talk about football.”
Hawes is the first wide receiver in Minnesota’s 2017 class and joins tight end Nathan Bursch and running back Dominik London among the pledges at the skill positions.
“They said they love how versatile I am with my speed,” Hawes said. “They said I’m going to be a vertical threat and they need someone that can run downfield and make plays. They love my route running, they said it’s very clean and they said they need guys like me to make plays.”
The three-star is also being recruited by Cincinnati and Western Kentucky and believes the Bearcats or Hilltoppers could be offering soon, but doesn’t feel that it will influence his decision much.
“Right now, with what I’ve seen, probably not,” Hawes said. “When I went to a camp at Cincinnati and toured their place, I liked their place, but Minnesota beats them.”
National Signing Day 2017 is still almost seven months away, so Hawes may use his recruitment as an opportunity to explore the country, but he noted he is solid to Minnesota.
“I’m going to take more visits and explore more, just to use my official visits, but I’m down for Minnesota,” Hawes said.