The epitome of perseverance, Hawkins took a unique path to the NFL. A standout on the field at the University of Toledo, Hawkins was asked to join the Detroit Lions as a scout after interning in their personnel department. Determined to pursue his dream and play in the league, 5’7” wide receiver turned down the offer and continued to coach at his alma mater before accepting an offer to participate on Michael Irvin's reality TV competition, 4th and Long on SPIKE.
Hawkins made the most of the opportunity, finishing second on the show, which landed him in the CFL. Five years after his college graduation, Hawkins landed a spot on the Cincinnati Bengals roster and played for six seasons in NFL with both the Bengals and the Cleveland Browns. Named one of the team captains while playing for the Browns, Hawkins notched 2,419 receiving yards, 209 receptions and nine touchdowns during his NFL career.
Always thinking about the next step in his professional career, Hawkins earned a Master of Science in Sports Management from Columbia University’s business school during the NFL offseason. Since retiring from the NFL, Hawkins has been tapping into his entrepreneurial skill set, creating and packaging unique content on social media.
Most recently, Hawkins signed a new deal with ESPN as a host for SportsCenter on Snapchat and will contribute to various ESPN shows, including NFL Live, SportsCenter, First Take, and more. The father of three serves as the Director of Business Development across the media, entertainment, and marketing companies of Maverick Carter and LeBron James and along with Cleveland Browns legend Joe Thomas, cohosts “The ThomaHawk Show” on the Uninterrupted podcast network.
Athletes: Storytellers, Creators and Disruptors
As athletes continue to disrupt sports media and develop their own content platforms, how can brands play a part? With panelists across traditional and action sports, we’ll explore how athletes and brands can make an impact and create engaging content for the fans.