It looks like the recruiting pipeline into North Gwinnett High School in Suwannee Georgia is already underway for the Tennessee Volunteers.
The football team picked up a huge commitment from JaWuan James Tuesday night, but the Tennessee Baseball team had already began the pipeline when North Gwinnett’s Chris Hawkins decided to be a Vol a few months ago.
Today marks the opening of the early National Signing period in college baseball and basketball, Hawkins will be signing a baseball scholarship with Tennessee on Friday.
InsideTennessee caught up with Hawkins this week to get his thoughts on being one of two current North Gwinnett athletes headed to Rocky Top.
“I really like the direction the baseball program is headed,” Hawkins said. “I loved the facilities, the coaching staff and everything about the University of Tennessee.”
Hawkins was aware of his fellow Bulldog athlete JaWuan James recent commitment to the Vols. Hawkins also got the chance to see Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin when he made the trip to North Gwinnett last month. Hawkins showed up to that football game all decked out in his Tennessee sweatshirt and cap.
“It’s great to have another North Gwinnett athlete going to Tennessee,” Hawkins said. “I got the chance to see Coach Kiffin when he came up last month in the helicopter. He really seemed like a nice guy. JaWuan is a great athlete and a great guy. It will be good having him in Knoxville.”
Hawkins, a 6-foot-2, 205- pound athlete, is expected to play third base and out field for Tennessee.
Hawkins finished his junior season with a .400 batting average, hitting 13 doubles and one home run. He earned 1st team All Region honors and was named to the Junior Team Georgia.
Hawkins was really impressed during his official visit to Knoxville.
“The campus is really nice,” Hawkins admitted. “It was a lot better than I expected it to be. There is a lot to do in Knoxville. I loved the atmosphere.”
Hawkins is also impressed with Todd Raleigh and the Volunteer coaching staff.
“I really got a long well with the coaching staff,” Hawkins said. “They seem they are some of the best coaches I have ever been around.”
Hawkins took his visit last year during the Wyoming game and returned this season for the Georgia and UCLA games.
“Seeing over 100,000 fans in one place is incredible,” Hawkins said. “I can’t wait to be a Vol.”
Hawkins will be signing his scholarship papers this Friday in a ceremony at his high school.