Texas landed the 22nd commitment to its 2012 class with the announcement of Northwest Mississippi Community College's Donald Hawkins earlier today.
The Texas staff is hoping Hawkins can take care of his academics to get on campus for the spring semester.
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound offensive tackle said today that his comfort level with the university was the deciding factor.
"Texas was the place for me. I felt at home the whole time with Texas," Hawkins said. "I feel like I have a good chance to help rebuild and help Texas have great seasons."
Hawkins, a one-time Oklahoma State commitment, hadn't been interested in the Longhorns until Texas offensive line coach Stacy Searels began contacting him. The Longhorns were able to get the four-star prospect on campus for an unofficial visit in mid-November for the Kansas State game, and interest had grown from there.
It was that relationship between he and Searels that paved the way for Texas to come in and get his commitment in the end.
"Coach Searels made me feel welcome and at home the whole way through," he said.
A 93-rated recruit by 247Sports, Hawkins is the fourth offensive line commitment in Texas' class. He's expected to give the Longhorns some immediate help with his experience at the junior college level. In fact, he was even selected to the first-team Junior College All-American team for the 2011 season.
There is hope that he'll be able to get on campus as soon as January. To do so his academics will have to line up in his remaining classes this semester, and Hawkins would also have to pass an online class before Texas starts school in January. If he's to do that, Texas has told him he would be eligible to qualify as a mid-term enrollee.
The academic hurdles will be something to watch over the next month or so, but if he is able to take care of business this will be a very big catch for the new Texas staff that's putting together an impressive first class.
Donald Hawkins on his official visit to Texas recently
Hawkins' recruitment was a long and winding one, but now that it's over he's ready to focus on getting things in order to, hopefully, join the Longhorns in January.
"(Committing) is a big relief," he said. "I hope to start classes on January 16 and be part of a national championship team at Texas."
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