Former USC standout football player Alex Hawkins has passed away at the age of 80.
Clifton Alexander “Alex” Hawkins was a three-year letterwinner on the South Carolina football team from 1956-58 for head coach Warren Giese. A standout athlete who played on both sides of the ball as well as on special teams, Hawkins led the Gamecocks in passing (1957), rushing (1957), receiving (1956, 1958), scoring (1956-58), punt returns (1957-58) and interceptions (1956) during his career. He was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and earned Associated Press third-team All-America honors as a senior in 1958, and played in the 1959 Senior Bowl.
During his Carolina career, Hawkins rushed for 1,490 yards, which still ranks 27th on the school’s all-time list, while leading the Gamecocks to a 19-11 record during that three-year span. He was inducted into the University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1970 and was honored as an SEC Football Legend in 1995.
Born July 2, 1937 in West Virginia, Hawkins was a second-round pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 1959 NFL Draft, the 13th player selected overall. He was released by the Packers in training camp and signed by the Baltimore Colts. A running back who excelled on special teams, Hawkins played 10 years of professional football for the Colts (1959-65, 1967-68) and Atlanta Falcons (1966-67). He was a member of two NFL Championship teams, the 1959 and 1968 Colts. In 125 career games, he rushed 208 times for 787 yards and 10 touchdowns, and caught 129 passes for 1,751 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Gamecocks will honor Mr. Hawkins with a moment of silence prior to Saturday’s football game with the Kentucky Wildcats.