"Texas A&M offered me Friday," said Jerald Hawkins, the junior from West Saint Mary HS (Baldwin, La.). "They called my coach (Ryan Antoine) and told him they were offering me. I'm being recruited by Coach (Terrell) Williams and Coach (Jim) Turner.
"I also have offers from Pittsburgh, Tulane, and Nicholls State. Texas A&M and Pitt are my leaders. I like everything about Texas A&M. I went to their spring game and really enjoyed it. I like their defense."
What does Hawkins like about Pitt?
"Their recruiter, Coach (Michael) Norvell, is a cool dude," he said. "I like their offense. I would fit in well at Pitt as an offensive linemen. I'm being recruited on both sides of the football. It just depends on each school. A&M is mainly looking at me as a defensive end."
Hawkins is listed anywhere from 6-foot-5 to 6-foot-7 (and 275 pounds to 295 pounds). Just how big is he?
"I'm 6-foot-6," he said. "I weigh 280 pounds, and I can run a 4.87 in the 40-yard dash."
Yesterday, Hawkins put his athleticism on display at the Class 3A state track meet, which was held on the LSU campus.
"It felt good to win the shot put," he said. "There was good competition. I never underestimate the competition. I set a PR yesterday by throwing 52-9 1/2."
Speaking of LSU, where do the Tigers stand in terms of Hawkins' recruitment?
"They're starting to pick up their noise now," said Hawkins. "They're sending me more letters. They want me to come to their summer camp. Coach Frank Wilson is recruiting me for LSU."
Utah, Nebraska, UL, and Louisiana Tech are a few of the other programs that are showing significant interest in Hawkins.
West St. Mary drops down from Class 3A to 2A this fall, and the Wolfpack has most of its key players returning. Furthermore, it will be the second year at the helm for Antoine, who is a highly-respected, energetic young coach.
With that in mind, what are the expectations for the south-central Louisiana school?
"We want to go out with a bang," said Hawkins. "We're just trying to win each game. The biggest factor for us will be everyone staying together as a team."