Ohio State football class of 2023 scouting report: Cedrick Hawkins

The Ohio State football recruiting class of 2023 is complete and despite some murmurs of negativity in the crowd, this class is fantastic from top to bottom. One of the studs in this class is a four-star recruit, a safety from the state of Florida in Cedric Hawkins from Cocoa High School in Titusville.

Hawkins is a top 355 player in the class of 2023 and a top 30 safety and might be one of the most underrated players in the class as Hawkins looks ready to contribute sooner rather than later and should at least be an option on special teams.

Name: Cedrick Hawkins

High School: Cocoa (Titusville, FL)

Height: 6-feet, 0-inches

Weight: 320 pounds

4-Star Safety

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[Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]
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Breaking It All Down

Cedrick Hawkins is a fun player to watch who loves to come down in the alley and hit. He also has unique versatility with plenty of elite snaps at both safety and corner in high school. Hawkins also plays very loose as it is obvious he is the biggest, fastest and strongest player on the field 90% of the time and this allows him to play with more aggression and risk, which has led to big plays.


[Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]
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Breaking It All Down

There is not much to dislike about Cedric Hawkins and his tape. I’m actually surprised he is not a higher-ranked recruit, but there are some instances of his feet getting tangled up in coverage. In high school, Hawkins was fast enough to make up for this, but in the Big Ten, his footwork will need to be cleaner.

Comparison: Malik Hooker

(Adam Cairns / The Columbus Dispatch)
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Breaking It All Down

Malik Hooker is one of the best safeties in Ohio State history. He arrived on campus in 2014 and took a redshirt, but then immediately saw playing time the next season as a redshirt freshman. As a redshirt sophomore, he started at free safety for the Buckeyes for what was one of the greatest seasons for a defensive back in Ohio State history. Hooker was named All-Big Ten and an All-American and then declared for the NFL draft with two seasons of eligibility remaining. He was then drafted in the first round by the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. Hooker dealt with some injuries early in his career but has bounced back since playing with the Dallas Cowboys.

You may remember me comparing another 2023 safety in Malik Hartford to Hooker as well and it makes sense considering that Hooker is the prototype safety for this defense. Cedric Hawkins — much like Hartford and Hooker — plays with intense aggressiveness and has the athleticism and physicality to make a high-level impact.

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire