The Hot Springs Trojans' senior tight end Derrion Hawkins signed his commitment to play college football for Lyon College Wednesday at the school's indoor practice facility.
Head football coach Darrell Burnett said Hawkins will be 'dang good' at the next level.
Lyon College competes at the National Collegiate Athletics Association division III level in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Lyon Scots are coached by Chris Douglas.
Hawkins signed his letter of intent with his mother Shawntay Hawkins. She said she cried when he was offered. Hawkins explained why he is attending Lyon College.
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"It started off as a camp," he said. "I went to a camp and they texted me on Twitter (now known as X). I went to the camp and they wanted me to come back for a visit. I came for the visit and it just went on from there."
Being accepted to Lyon College is no easy task as the Scots pride themselves on academic excellence. With an acceptance rate of 27.2%, students need a 2.8 GPA to stay in good standing.
Hawkins said the campus at Lyon College was great. He discussed the recruiting process.
"I had other offers," the blocking tight end said. "I had Hendrix and a school named McPherson. I did not always know, because I liked Hendrix too. I was leaning toward Hendrix for a little bit, but then it kept taking longer for them to accept me into the school and I was already accepted into Lyon."
Burnett said the college level takes more effort.
"Mental toughness is one of his best strengths," the head coach said. "The challenge we put on him his sophomore year was to figure out if he was going to make it with us or if he was going to quit. He fought through it, so we know he has got some fight. You know when you go to college he will be a third string tight end he is going to have to compete and get up out of that hole. The next thing he needs to work on is just the body. That is with a lot of them."
Burnett said college life brings changes to a young man's life.
"When you go to college man, some of the baby fat got to become a five pack," he said. "They want the lean muscles, they want guys to weigh a certain amount and then just being disciplined. You are a grown adult now. You have to wake yourself up. You have to make sure you are where you are supposed to be. It is big for them."
Burnett joked that once Hawkins had to stand at the whiteboard in timeout during practice sophomore year.
Hawkins said Burnett made him a better football player.
"Discipline, I do not know how to explain it," Hawkins said.