NFL players are often stereotyped as dumb jocks with amazing athletic ability but little brainpower.
That stereotype does not apply for Andrew Hawkins.
The Browns' wideout is in the second semester of a master's program in sport management at Columbia University.
Kalyn Kahler of Monday Morning Quarterback profiled Hawkins' journey through graduate school in a stellar piece published on Tuesday morning. It's well-worth the read.
As Kahler writes, Hawkins takes a full course load on Thursdays, flies round-trip from Tampa to Newark just to make it to class. On top of taking classes, the 29 year old is a father of three kids under the age of five. Hawkins also stays in shape over the offseason with a workout program in Florida.
Few can handle the rigors of a typical day for Hawkins, as Kahler illustrates by spending a Thursday with the busy wide receiver.
You should read the whole article here, but here are a few quotable clips from Kahler's journey through Hawkins' 20-hour day that includes back-to-back-to-back classes that each last two hours.
On the first day of classes this semester, students had to introduce themselves to the room, stating their name and job. When it was his turn to speak—"Andrew Hawkins, professional football player," his classmates figured he was retired. "Everyone said, ‘Oh you used to play?’ And I said, ‘No, I play right now.’ " A full graduate-school course load isn’t part of many active players’ offseason plans, but Hawkins knows the importance of preparing for life after football—because he’s already had to deal with it.
Diane Spizzirro, director of career management at Columbia’s School of Professional Studies, asks, "Andrew, what is your ultimate career goal?" Without hesitation, he responds, "I want to be a general manager of an NFL team."
The conversation then turns to planning the next year of coursework. Hawkins will take three more classes this summer and one online course during the season next fall. The final degree requirement is an internship or a special research project. He’s not sure yet where he’d like to intern, but if he chooses to do a special project, there’s one subject that he feels a personal responsibility to research: concussions in football.
Katz places Hawkins in the top tier of students in his classes. "His homework assignments as well as his class participation have demonstrated that he is an exceptional student," Katz says. He finds Hawkins especially impressive because of the typical demand on athletes who try to balance academics. "I know from relationships with college athletes how much they are not given a fair chance to be students," he says. "Andrew obviously overcame the time demands and built a very strong academic foundation."