Updated: Oct 31, 2020
One turn to the left and he was gone, that is all it took.
It was only a matter of time when Louisville running back Javian Hawkins was going to break a long run, and it did not take long. Midway in the first quarter against Florida State, Hawkins takes a handoff and runs to the right. Before he could make a second move, he was met by a swarm of Seminole defenders. All it took was one reverse turn left to find daylights; 70 yards later, he was in the end zone.
Since his days in Pop Warner football, the man known as "Playstation", has been accustomed to creating something out of nothing. Last season as a redshirt freshman, he made a habit of fooling defenses with his arsenal of moves, and finished seventh in the nation in rushing with 1,525.
“Hawk is a very smart and intelligent runner,” quarterback Micale Cunningham told writer Tim Sullivan of the Louisville Courier Journal. “And I know if he doesn’t see stuff on the front side, he’s going to take a look at the backside.”
His element is essential to success of the Cardinals, in a similar fashion to what we saw during the Lamar Jackson era. Even though opposing teams focus their schemes on stopping him, it is proven to be a difficult task to execute.
As he currently sits third in the nation with 693 rushing yards, one would assume his accomplishments would receive the acclaim it deserves. Unfortunately for Hawkins, he happens to be in the same conference with superstar quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers. Though he is on pace to surpass his rushing totals from last season, his team sits a disappointing 2-4 record despite his efforts.
Though he is seemingly a long shot for this year's Heisman Trophy, Hawkins' play suggests he is very much in the discussion. No matter where his Cardinals sit in the standings, his play is helping build a legacy of greatness, that should be felt within the program for years to come.