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Xavier Hawkins isn’t a name that many Beaver fans will remember for his number of catches, receiving yards, or touchdowns, but he’s been a member of the OSU football team for four tumultuous seasons and has always had a smile on his face despite not getting the results he’s wanted.
The best part about Hawkins is even though he didn’t get the college statistics that he would have liked, he’s kept an upbeat and positive attitude throughout the whole process.
The journey for Hawkins started his freshman year at Oregon State where under former head coach Mike Riley, he was slated to redshirt. However, injuries at the receiver position forced his redshirt to be burned against USC and he didn’t play much after that in 2014. Essentially, his first season as a Beaver wasn’t what he expected.
“I think about it all the time, because it was really tough” Hawkins said. “I really didn’t get to do what I wanted to against USC, and I wish I could have redshirted but everything happens for a reason, so I just kept pushing.”
When Hawkins walks out of the locker room onto the Reser Stadium field on Saturday, he’s going to leave it all on the field and is going to briefly remember just how fast his career at OSU went.
“It went by really fast,” Hawkins said. “It’s the last home game, and I just want to go out and do big. At this point, I just want to leave it all out on the field. You can’t take anything back, so you have to keep moving forward and build on it.”
With two games left in the season, Hawkins has several goals that he would still like to achieve before taking off the Beaver uniform.
“I would really like to score if I have the chance,” Hawkins said. “Other than that, I just want to make plays and help my team anyway that I can.”
Interim head coach Cory Hall emphasized the importance of sending out the seniors with a victory against Arizona State on Saturday, and for player like Hawkins, that has been through so much during his time at OSU, it would mean the world to him.
“It would be a great thing if we could go out and get a win,” Hawkins said. “It would show that we have a good team effort and show that everybody wants to win.”
The last time that Arizona State came to town was in 2014 when the Sun Devils were ranked No. 6 in country. Behind an inspired defense led by DJ Alexander, Michael Doctor, and Larry Scott, frigid temperatures, and an offense that churned out points from Sean Mannion, the Beavers were able to spring a trap against ASU.
Hawkins, who was just a freshman on that 2014 squad, remembers the Arizona State game fondly and remembered just how electric the atmosphere was. He hops that the Beavers can draw the same magic in 2017.
“That game was crazy,” Hawkins said. “As we won, everybody stormed the field and people were everywhere. That was a crazy experience that I will never forget.”
As Hawkins prepares for his last rodeo at Reser Stadium, he will always remember Corvallis and Oregon State as one of the best times of his life.
“What I will remember the most about this place is just how everyone comes together,” Hawkins said. “Everyone is friendly and there are so many good people here.”
The Knoxville, Tenn. native has caught five passes for 54 yards this season. In four seasons at OSU, he's caught 10 passes for 91 yards.