With training camp just weeks away, USF took an injury hit with news that junior fullback/tight end Jeff Hawkins, who was expected to contend for a starting role this fall, injured his knee during summer voluntary workouts on campus.
Hawkins, a redshirt junior injured his knee on a non-contact pass play during summer voluntary workouts, tearing his right ACL. During the summer players have their own informal workouts without pads on. Coaches are not allowed to organize or supervise the workouts until the beginning of training camp in August. Hawkins is scheduled for surgery on July 26th and will miss the Bulls' 2011 season.
The 6-foot-4, 256 pound FB/TE/H-back lettered in 2010 after playing in 10 games mainly on special teams and as a blocker. He didn't record any catches, but did recover a teammate's loose fumble in the season opener against Stony Brook. Hawkins also tore his ACL in his opposite knee last December during practice on a similar type play that caused him to miss the Bulls Bowl game and also miss the past spring while recovering from surgery. Hawkins was making great strides and was on pace to participate in the upcoming two-a-days before the recent injury.
Hawkins, who remarkably is scheduled to graduate in December after only three and a half years and begin graduate school with USF, still has two years of eligibility left and could apply for a sixth year when the time comes. Hawk is also known as a workaholic and a weight room warrior, and has fought his way back through several injuries during his career, so if anybody can work his way back, he's a perfect candidate to do so.