Tank Hawkins could be Florida Football's hidden weapon in 2024

Florida Gators Tank Hawkins, a speed phenomenon, drawing comparisons to Percy Harvin.

The Florida Gators football program has a rich history of explosive playmakers, and their latest addition, Jerrae "Tank" Hawkins, is already drawing attention for his blazing speed and versatility. Comparisons to Gators legend Percy Harvin have begun to circulate, setting high expectations for the true freshman.

Hawkins' speed is not just anecdotal; it's quantifiable. He clocked an impressive 6.70 seconds in the 60-meter dash, a time that puts him in the company of elite NFL speedsters like Tyreek Hill. Even more impressive, Hawkins has recorded a blistering 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

The speed he has showcased since arriving in Gainesville isn't a surprise to those who follow his recruitment. He ran the 100 meter dash in 10.37 seconds as a junior in high school.

These numbers have the Gators' coaching staff excited about the possibilities. While he was quiet during Florida's spring game, reports out of spring camp indicated that Hawkins was torching the secondary. Even if Hawkins doesn't crack the primary wide receiver rotation in 2024, there is still the possibility of returning kicks for the Gators this season.

As with any young player, there will be a learning curve. Hawkins will need to adapt to the increased speed and complexity of the college game. His route acumen, ability to read defenses, and overall football IQ will need to catch up to his physical gifts.

Despite these challenges, the potential for Hawkins to be a game-changer is undeniable. His speed alone will force defenses to account for him on every play, potentially opening up opportunities for his teammates. As he develops and refines his skills, Hawkins could become a nightmare for opposing coordinators to game plan against.

Looking ahead, Hawkins' development will be a key storyline for the Gators. If he can combine his natural speed with improved technique and football savvy, he has the potential to be a true difference-maker.