By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Blake Hawkins is starting to make a name for himself. He’ll have plenty of chances to bold and underline his signature this season as Tishomingo County’s starting quarterback.
“He manages our game. As he goes, we go,” Tishomingo County coach Lanny Jones said. “He pretty much controls that whole side of the ball. Once he’s not in the game, the management of the game is a lot different for us.”
A dual-threat junior who runs his 40-yard dash in the 4.5s, Hawkins threw for nearly 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. He rushed for more than 500 yards.
Jones said the Braves pass a lot off their run game as well, creating reads Hawkins has to make, adding to his threat.
Pushing 6-foot-5, Hawkins doesn’t have any offers yet, but Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Jacksonville State have shown early interest.
“It’s sped up since last year,” Hawkins said. “I need to get bigger. I want to be more of a pro-style.”
Hawkins said Ole Miss was the first to make contact. That came following last season. He has been to Mississippi State and Ole Miss camps.
“I’m going to Louisville, Southern, Vandy and just a bunch of combines, just trying to get more exposure,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins is doing his part, camping and working on the necessary areas he and Jones point out, mechanics and technique. One goal is to get bigger during his final two seasons. He currently hovers around the 210 mark.
Vanderbilt has shown interest in more than his game.
“Coach (James) Franklin really likes him,” Jones said. “He’s a 4.0 student, plus a 6-4 quarterback that runs a 4.5, so … He’s a worker, plus he’s smart. He’s very marketable. He’s going to be a really good college football player.”
Tishomingo County opens the 2013 regular season on Aug. 23 at Mooreville.