Nebraska baseball’s surge of in-state recruiting continued Thursday with the addition of a player who needed almost no time to make up his mind.
Corbin Hawkins received a walk-on offer from Husker coaches early in the day. By the afternoon the 2021 pitcher from Millard West had already called them back to tell them he was coming.
“I’ve always wanted to be a Husker,” Hawkins said. “There’s no better time than the time they give it to you to take it. I had no reason to wait.”
Hawkins — considered a top-15 prospect in the state according to Prep Baseball Report — had options to go to bigger junior colleges, NAIA programs or Division II schools. But the 6-foot-2, 175-pounder quickly pounced on the opportunity to play for the team he cheered on as a kid.
On his way to take senior pictures later in the evening, Hawkins told The World-Herald the moment still didn’t seem real. He becomes the 12th pledge of the 2021 class, and seventh from within the state. Two other Millard West products are already on the team in pitcher Colby Gomes and incoming freshman infielder Max Anderson.
“It makes it so much more special for guys like me that can live here their whole life and then go play at the school down the street,” Hawkins said. “It’s a dream come true.”
Though he also plays the infield, Nebraska projects Hawkins as a pitcher in some capacity. He throws in the upper 80s and features a two-seam fastball, four-seamer, change and slider — his strikeout pitch. He’s working to add a curveball this offseason.
Hawkins got NU’s attention at a camp last fall but earned the offer after a strong Legion season this summer. He struck out nine in a five-inning no-hitter against Creighton Prep last month.
Now Hawkins has one more year to prepare before joining a Nebraska team he’s followed for as long as he can remember.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Hawkins said. “I tell you what, I was trying to shoot my bow and get ready for deer season and I couldn’t even do that because I was shaking so hard. But I’m excited.”