Rising senior Brad Hawkins started 10 games alongside Josh Metellus last year giving U-M a really solid duo of safeties week in and week out. Metellus was just drafted by the Vikings but Hawkins will be back in Ann Arbor for one more season and should be one of the leaders of the defense.
The 6-1, 218-pounder finished the season with 53 tackles and a pass breakup. He should've had an interception but it was taken away from him on a terrible pass interference call against Khaleke Hudson during the Notre Dame game. He was very solid all year long and is a very proven tackler — that's what shows up most on his highlight tape from last year.
Hawkins is going to be entrenched as a starter from day one and is the perfect kind of veteran to bring along the supremely talented rising sophomore Daxton Hill in the back of the secondary. Since he was on the field quite a bit last year, it's hard to imagine his numbers changing much. His role shouldn't change much in 2020 so a similar year has to be the floor. He did miss two games, so a slight bump is expected.
Look for Hawkins to be on the field in all circumstances as long as he's healthy. If he is, a season filled with at least 60 tackles, four or five pass breakups and a couple of interceptions needs to be the goal. That would be a very productive season for the senior safety and should put him on draft boards come this time next year.