Maple Heights senior to join OSU football team

Posted at 5:04 AM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 05:06:36-05

Maple Heights senior Kierre Hawkins has been searching for the directions to success.  He came across Eric Thomas' YouTube videos which consists of motivational speeches. One line specifically stuck with Hawkins.

"When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful," Thomas said in a YouTube video. 

"When I heard that it kind of motivated me because I see a lot off successful people on TV and I just looked up how they really got successful because everyone has a struggle," Hawkins told NewsChannel5 sports reporter Lauren Brill. 

During his freshman year of high school Hawkins and his football coach Devlin Culliver set their eyes on a destination. 

"He asked what school I wanted to go to, I was like Ohio State," Hawkins recalled. 

"We had a conversation about all the things he had to do as far as class, the weight room and staying out of trouble," said Culliver. "He pretty much followed the plan."

On Wednesday, the 6- foot 4-inch honor-roll student will sign his letter of intent to Ohio State University, becoming the first athlete from Maple Heights to receive a football scholarship from the Buckeyes. 

"All my hard work finally paid off," Hawkins said with a smile on his face. 

"It was not easy for him," coach Culliver explained. "He had to struggle through some classes to make it happen. He was willing to stay after classes and put in the work."

On the field, Hawkins scored seven touchdowns his senior season.

"You don't find too many 6-4 guys that can run the football when you hand it to him, catch it when you throw it to him and then turn around and play defense and he played quarterback for us too," said Culliver. 

While many people have helped Hawkins navigate through his journey so far, Hawkins has come to realize the he has held the compass that has guided him to his own success all along.

"Never give up on yourself because if you give up on yourself, you give up on your dream."