Redshirt freshman wide receiver Marqui Hawkins will transfer from Florida, the school announced through GatorZone on Thursday. News of Hawkins's decision to transfer was first reported Wednesday, by The Gainesville Sun's Zach Abolverdi and 247Sports' Ryan Bartow.
Hawkins, a three-star wide receiver from Columbus, Georgia's Carver High School who joined Florida's 2013 recruiting class in May 2012, redshirted in 2013, and spent parts of this spring working at both wide receiver and safety. He is reportedly free to transfer wherever he sees fit, having been granted his release by Florida according to both Abolverdi and Bartow, and Bartow additionally reports that Hawkins has been "verbally offered" by Nebraska.
Hawkins departing doesn't do much to change Florida's outlook on either offense or defense for 2014 and beyond. He was obviously very deep on the depth chart at wide receiver, and is the sort of player who was going to be challenged to find a role behind players like Demarcus Robinson and Ahmad Fulwood outside in years to come, while also lacking some of the skills that would make him competitive in a slot receiver role. And Hawkins looked to be very far behind the curve at safety this spring when he was moved there from wide receiver, getting barked at by Will Muschamp — who coaches Florida's safeties — in his few practices on that side of the ball.
As we do with departing Gators, we wish Hawkins the best in his future athletic and academic careers.