Throughout his National Football League career both on and off the field, Johnstown’s Andrew Hawkins used whatever tools or tactics he could to overcome odds and gain an edge.

The approach enabled the 5-foot-7 receiver to play six NFL seasons, three apiece with the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns.

The player known as “Hawk” even worked on completing his master’s degree at Columbia University in order to prepare for life after the game.

Hawkins also displayed versatility in his role as a NFL commentator and social media guru, using the latest trends and platforms to make his point in an enthusiastic and often humorous demeanor.

That entire package enabled Hawkins to land a spot with the NFL Network, where he will host a variety of content on NFL Media’s digital and social channels. 

Hawkins also will be an analyst on the league’s morning show, Good Morning Football, and on NFL Total Access.

“Super excited,” Hawkins said when reached via telephone on Wednesday. 

“Obviously, my goal back in the day was to get into the league as a player. It’s cool to see it come full circle on this side of it with digital content, social content, which has kind of been my forte.”

Hawkins will begin his new role in July. He currently hosts The ThomaHawk Show podcast on Uninterrupted, teaming with former Cleveland Browns offensive tackle and current NFL Network analyst Joe Thomas. He previously hosted ESPN’s Snapchat edition of SportsCenter.

“We’re in a new age,” said Hawkins, a Bishop McCort High School graduate. 

“I’d like to think I’m one of the guys in this industry who are on this. The numbers speak to themselves as far as viewership.

“It’s cool for me. My feeling on this side of it is to make football as fun as possible. As a player, I was very serious, very business like,” Hawkins added. 

“My only regret is I didn’t have enough fun with it. I want to let my personality come out on this end. I learned from Artrell.”

Hawkins’ older brother Artrell spent a decade in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots. The former second-round draft pick of the Bengals also got into the broadcasting end of football after his retirement as a player.

“His advice was to be yourself through and through and opportunities will come,” Andrew Hawkins said. 

“It’s come to fruition.”

Andrew Hawkins’ non-traditional path to the NFL also is the subject of a bio-pic movie named ‘Hawk.’ He said the project is ongoing.

“They are in the middle of casting and hopefully the cast will be announced in the next month or so,” Andrew Hawkins said. “It’s show business. It’s tracking along slowly but surely.”

Mike Mastovich is a sports reporter and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5083. Follow him on Twitter @Masty81.

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