Kierre Hawkins isn't your average recruit, and I don't mean that just because most kids aren't 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds.
What I mean, more succinctly, is that he just isn't interested in being recruited. He knew what school he wanted to go to, they offered, he committed – the end.
"I never visited any other schools," Hawkins told Eleven Warriors. "I remember the first time I talked to (Urban) Meyer, he told me I needed to come down to camp and work my butt off to get an offer."
Hawkins did, and he did. That was that. As an athlete born and raised in Northeast Ohio – hell as a person born anywhere in Ohio – the chance to suit up in the Scarlet and Gray was a lifelong dream fulfilled.
"It means so much to me to be in this position, it's always been my dream," Hawkins said. "But I had to work for it and I got it. I knew it was on me to get this offer and I got it."
Hawkins committed to Ohio State on Oct. 18, 2014, and since becoming the third commit in the 2016 class, he's done nothing but focus on what's next. He worked hard all summer, camping with the Buckeyes multiple times and putting in the effort to improve his game wherever he could, even if he didn't – and doesn't – know what position he'll play in college.
"Every time I come down here they tell me I gotta work on something and I work on it and then I come back down and see what else I gotta work on," Hawkins told 11W in June. "So I can just be up here and just play. That's all I want to do is play. That's all I want to do."
As a senior at Maple Heights, Hawkins found himself growing as a leader, and not just as one of the team's most explosive players.
"I feel that this year, I got much better as a leader," Hawkins said. "This year, I was just way more about the team, and how we did. I am disappointed our season ended how it did, because that's not how I wanted to leave, but I worked harder than I ever have and tried to motivate everyone else too."
As a future Buckeye, Hawkins' efforts for the Mustangs carry substantial weight, as you'd imagine.
"My team does look up to me," he said. "But they also wanted to see me be successful. I have great teammates and when they'd see me do something well, it'd give them some energy. When you're the emotional leader, the other players will follow and want to grow into leaders."
Despite that growth, there's still more to do, at least according to Hawkins' future position coach, Tim Hinton. This growth, though, is a touch more tangible.
"I talk to Coach Hinton every week," the four-star athlete said. "He tells me I need to gain weight. I will do whatever I need to in order to get on the field."
It's that commitment to what he does on a daily basis that makes Hawkins an appealing option to the Buckeyes, despite his less than lofty ranking and sparse offer list.
"I feel like I'm underrated, I have a lot to prove," he continued. "But I'm just going to keep working for my family and staying humble. It will all come in time. I am very aggressive and I'm hungry. I want everything I can get.
"I am going to take care of my family and leave a legacy as a successful person and be remembered for what I've done for positive reasons."