Oklahoma Football

I've talked at length about Michael Hawkins Jr.'s potential. In fact, I compared him to Kyler Murray…that's how good I think Hawkins can be. He came to Norman after having a “Kyler-like” high school career in Texas and finished his high school career as the third-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation.

He's competing for the backup quarterback position with Casey Thompson, an Oklahoma native and veteran college football player. The mix of experience he gets each week in preparation, Arnold's game and Thompson's expertise will be invaluable to the freshman as a playmaker. I just hope we see him in some cleanup action this season so the rest of Sooner Nation can see him play.

There's something special about this kid's demeanor. He carries himself with quiet confidence and a stone-cold expression. But when he's on the practice field, he's at full throttle. You can't find a message board or podcast from Sooners practice that even remotely praises Hawkins' athleticism and arm talent. He gets little attention because he's ranked 2nd or 3rd behind Sooner starter and 5-star Jackson Arnold. Right now, though, Hawkins is in the perfect position.

The only official look we got at Hawkins was in the spring game. During the scrimmage, Hawkins was 5-12 for 42 yards, but he had three big rushing attempts and was confident on the field. I never look too closely at spring game stats; for me, it's more about “how they look.” Hawkins looked calm, methodical and very athletic. He also won the Oklahoma Football Spring Superlative for the player who made the most progress on offense.

Other than Michael Hawkins Sr., no one else in Sooner Nation is as excited as I am for Michael Hawkins Jr.'s real-world debut. But we have to wait, and Michael has to wait, too. He can use this season to do what many freshmen miss out on, which is slowly ease himself into the world of big-time college football. Aside from moving to the SEC, the transition from high school football to college football is difficult, especially at the Division One level. While I'm confident Michael could make an impact this year, there's no need to rush. I'm comfortable with him backing up Arnold, and I can't wait to see the “Kyler-like” impact he'll have on the program in the future.