After seeming destined for Cincinnati, then Penn State, then Ohio State, then Cincinnati again, four-star defensive tackle Aeneas Hawkins has finally come to a decision on where he wants to play his college football. The four-star native of The Queen City is heading east to Happy Valley, as announced in a video posted on The Players Tribune this morning.
The Nittany Lions originally offered Hawkins a scholarship back in July of 2016 while on an unofficial visit. After that, Hawkins earned offers from, well, everyone. Ohio State, Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, Miami, USC, and Michigan were just a few of the big names to extend an offer to the powerful tackle. Despite all of this, his experiences at and feelings about Penn State prevailed in the end.
The Hawkins File
- Class: 2018
- Size: 6'3/265 lbs.
- Pos: DT
- School: Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, OH)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★ (0.9020)
- Composite Rank: No. 284 overall, No. 23 defensive tackle
The battle for Hawkins' services had long been one between Ohio State, Cincinnati, and Penn State, with each one running hot and cold at various points. Ohio State being the home-state and national superpower has obvious appeal, as does his parents' alma mater in Cincinnati. Still, as Hawkins told me back in February, this Penn State staff is one of the best in the country in recruiting.
Hawkins had not been on campus in State College since late-March until returning last month for the Lasch Bash. He loved all of his past visits, so it's not a surprise to hear that his final trip before committing went smoothly as well.
Hawkins gives Penn State their 23rd commitment in the 2018 class, and fourth defensive lineman. With potentially as few as two total spots left in the class, the Lions are likely in "best available player" mode, rather than looking at specific positions.
Built in the mold of two of his favorite NFL players (Geno Atkins, Aaron Donald), Hawkins will likely never be much of a double team space eater. He will, however, do an excellent job at forcing pressure and creating it on his own. The four-star will look to bring quickness and speed to the defensive tackle position in a way that hasn't been seen since Anthony Zettel.
It doesn't take much to see the potential in a player like Hawkins, and when you can get someone like that who also cares deeply about their education, it's hard to not give everything you've got at that kid.
With Hawkins' commitment, Penn State sits at No. 4 in the country.