Tanner Hawkinson Interview
OT / Kansas / Sr.

Updated - 7-9-12

By: Alex Kozora


Alex Kozora: What are your measurements (height, weight and 40 time)?

Tanner Hawkinson: 6’5 , 295. Not sure on my 40 time.

Alex Kozora: What made you decide to become a Jayhawk?

Tanner Hawkinson: Being from Kansas, either you’re KU or K-State. My whole family went to KU including my mom and all of my siblings. My dad went to K-State, so he was outnumbered. I had lots of familiarity with Kansas.

Alex Kozora: You were a tight end and a defensive lineman coming out of high school. How did the switch to offensive tackle come about?

Tanner Hawkinson: I remember my freshman year when I was a redshirt, I was a TE for a couple weeks. There were a couple guys older than me and it was kind of a loaded position. So they moved me to DL for the rest of the year. About a few weeks before spring ball the following year they approached me, telling me that there was a good opportunity at offensive tackle. They asked me if I was willing to do it. The thought of gaining a bunch of weight didn’t sit well with me at first. After thinking about it for a couple days, I figured why not and give it a shot.

Alex Kozora: Did you originally welcome changing positions?

Tanner Hawkinson: Yes. [Getting the chance for more playing time] was definitely a big factor.

Alex Kozora: Talk about how difficult the transition was, or was not.

Tanner Hawkinson: It was kind of tough. But a lot of the footwork carried over from my time at TE. It was just getting used to pass protection and playing against bigger guys all the time. It kind of came, not naturally, but easier than someone who hadn’t played TE like I did before. A lot of the blocking concepts and footwork came back from before.

Alex Kozora: You started all 12 games for Kansas as a redshirt freshman and haven’t looked back. What helped you to start right away?

Tanner Hawkinson: My athletic ability has helped me. Being able to keep guys in front of me in the pass game. I had a lot of guys around me. Some older guys, they helped me quite a bit and what to expect out of myself. And the motivation to get better and better.

Alex Kozora: What did it mean to you to be elected offensive co-captain by your teammates this year?

Tanner Hawkinson: It means a lot, knowing that the guys on the team see me as a leader for them. When I was a younger guy here, we had guys like Todd Reesing and Kerry Meier. To think of myself as someone those younger guys look up to, it means a lot.

Alex Kozora: What is your biggest strength? Is it your athletic ability?

Tanner Hawkinson: Yeah, I think my athletic ability and the ability to get to the second level.

Alex Kozora: What’s one part of your game that you’d like to improve on?

Tanner Hawkinson: I want to improve in every area. You never want to become complacent. I just want to keep improving in every area.

Alex Kozora: You spent your first two seasons at left tackle before switching to right tackle last season. Where will you be playing this season?

Tanner Hawkinson: I’ll be back at left tackle.

Alex Kozora: Is that your preferred position?

Tanner Hawkinson: No preference. I will play wherever the team needs me.

Alex Kozora: What are your goals for your senior year?

Tanner Hawkinson: Team goals, we want to go out every week and win. It’s going to be a tough schedule in the Big 12. We want to make it to a bowl game. We were there my freshman year and haven’t been back. Personal goals, I want to improve week to week and just become the best leader I can being the captain for this team.

Alex Kozora: Talk about what new head coach Charlie Weis is like.

Tanner Hawkinson: He’s been great throughout spring ball. He’s been tough on us, but at the same time, he’s a very personable guy. He’s a great coach, very balanced. We got quite a bit done in spring ball given the fact that we had a whole new coaching staff, learning a whole new offense. I think the spring went great for us.

Alex Kozora: Were you excited about the hire since he’s an offensive minded coach?

Tanner Hawkinson: Yeah, definitely. I followed the coaching search pretty close. His name never really popped up until the day before he was hired. I was kind of surprised.

Alex Kozora: Are there any NFL players you try to play like?

Tanner Hawkinson: Not particularly. I probably don’t watch as much as I did before since we are pretty busy. Not anyone in particular.

Alex Kozora: How has new QB Dayne Crist looked so far?

Tanner Hawkinson: Dayne has looked great for us. All he has done is work his tail off. It helps him knowing the offense from before [from Charlie Weis]. He was a huge help this spring. He has been a great addition for this team.

Alex Kozora: What fellow offensive lineman do you expect to make a lot of noise this year?

Tanner Hawkinson: You can look at the other two seniors: Duane Zlatnik and Trevor Marrongelli. Duane had a great year last year. He’s fairly new to the position too. He played defensive end for a year and a half. He’s just a big, strong guy. Trevor is a big, strong guy as well. He’s really smart. He knows the offense. He’s our center. He knows what to do.


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