Getting to Know: Jerrae Hawkins

by Alyssa Britton-Harr
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Jerrae Hawkins, the IMG Academy four-star wide receiver from Bradenton, Florida had his official visit with the University of Florida on June 9, 2023, and made his commitment to the Gators shortly after on June 26, 2023. Hawkins signed his letter of intent to Florida this past Wednesday.

Hawkins was recruited by wide receiver coach Billy Gonzales and the offense/running back coach Jabbar Juluke.

Inside the Gators, Alyssa Britton-Harr got to know Hawkins a little better in this edition of Getting to Know.



Take us through the process that led to your commitment. What was that experience like for you?

“The process with Florida was good, they had offered me my junior year at IMG during the spring, and ever since then, I felt that I wanted to be part of the Gators. I wanted to be part of the history and bring back Florida.”

Throughout the recruiting process, how hard would you say Miami continued to press down the stretch?

“They were recruiting me hard but when I went to a game day visit, it didn’t hit the same as the game days at Florida. I went for the Florida vs. Tennessee game, and that was a big part of me staying with Florida over Miami.”

What stood out to you about the new facility?

“Mainly the strength and conditioning area program and the coaches was what really stood out to me.”

Which school came in second for you and why?

“Penn State because they were one of the first big schools to offer me after I went to a camp, and they rocked with me for a long time. I was comfortable up there.”

What is your favorite football memory?

“I would probably say my first offer from the University of Pittsburgh. I was running track and was in the junior Olympics, so when I got back and got the offer I was with my family and it was big.”

What would you say are some of your greatest strengths as a football player?

“Speed of course and ever since I have been at IMG, I feel more smarter knowing the game plan and what I am doing out there, and I find that a game changer honestly.”

What do you need to work on the most when you get to Florida?

“I would say the stuff I am already pretty good at and working to perfect my skills. Little stuff like catching and perfecting that to make catches on the field.”

Who is the prospect that you have talked to the most from the Class of 2024?

“I would say most of the people at IMG because that is who I was mostly with on trips, but probably my boys Jerrick Gibson and Donovan Olugbode.”

Is there any untold, funny or interesting recruiting story that you can share about your recruiting process?

“I would say in Miami because after the game, we were riding around in the golf carts in the parking lot, and it was funny since they let us drive them.”


What is your major?

“I heard people change their major a lot, but I am going to try and do business. It might change.”

What’s your favorite quality in a teammate?

“Someone who is not selfish.”

Who are you looking forward to playing alongside? Or getting to know on the team?

“My boy DJ Lagway.”

What is your favorite professional football team?

“The Baltimore Ravens because I am a big Lamar fan and Odell is my favorite of all time.”

Who is your favorite professional football player right now? Why?

Odell Beckham has been my favorite since I was young, and I look up and like to see how he battles with injuries and faces adversity. He still comes back and stays motivated to get better. Him as a receiver is also good, many people already know that though.”

Is there a person, sports personality or not, that has influenced your life?

“My dad has shown me how to move around in this world and be a man, the ins and outs and little things in life.”

What are three things on your bucket list?

“To get to the NFL as a long-term goal, to retire my family so my parents don’t have to work, and to get All-SEC freshman next year.”

What would be your first purchase if you were drafted as the first-round pick by the NFL?

“Honestly my first big purchase would be getting my little sisters a car or getting my parents my house.”

Where do you see yourself in five years from now?

“Hopefully in the NFL, but just to be successful and happy.”

If you had a chance to spend the day with a celebrity, who would it be?

“I would say Lebron James because he is very smart with managing and going about his business, that mindset would benefit me long-term.”

What is one item that you cannot live without? Why?

“Air pods because I can’t miss a day without listening to 20 songs.”

What are your favorite types of music? Do you have a favorite artist or song?

“I would say rap music, but my favorites are NBA YoungBoy, Rod Wave, and Huncho.”

What is your favorite movie?

“Don’t be a Menace or Friday.”

What is your favorite TV show?

“The Boondocks.”

If you could go on a dream date with anyone, who would it be?

“Probably Rihanna because she has been looking good.”

What is your favorite meal or favorite food to cook?

“Wings and Fries is my favorite. If I am cooking, I can whip up some pizza rolls.”

Walk us through some of your pregame rituals.

“I of course need to put on music, and I do the same warmup before everyone gets on the field, do my stretches and jog. I don’t eat too much, but music is the main thing to get my mindset right.”

If you could spend an entire day with anyone in history, who would that be?

“I would say Kobe Bryant sports wise.”

Orange or Blue?

“Blue is my favorite color.”

Favorite flavor of Gatorade?

“Blue Raspberry.”

What is one thing about you that Gator Nation would be surprised to find out about?

“I like to switch it up and play basketball sometimes.”

What’s your message to Gator Nation?

“I am excited to be in the Swamp and score touchdowns.”

Leave a message for your future self.

“With anything and everything just stay consistent.”

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