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Mekhi Becton, Javian Hawkins earn All-American honors

NCAA Football: Virginia at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

From U of L:

Running back Javian Hawkins and offensive tackle Mekhi Becton of the University of Louisville football team were honored as All-Americans on Thursday. Hawkins was named a first team Freshman All-American by The Athletic, and Becton was a second team selection by Sports Illustrated. A 5-foot-9 redshirt freshman, Hawkins broke numerous records in his first full season with the Cardinals.

Rushing for a UofL freshman record of 1,420 yards and eight touchdowns, Hawkins averaged 118.3 yards per game, which ranks seventh nationally heading into the Music City Bowl against Mississippi State. His 1,420 yards rushing ranks fourth on the school’s single-season list and stands third in league history among freshmen.

He became the first 1,000-yard rusher since Lamar Jackson’s 2017 season, but was the first running back at UofL to accomplish the feat since Bilal Powell ran for 1,405 yards in 2010.

After 12 games, Hawkins ranks seventh in the country in rushing yards and first among freshmen nationally. The 5-foot-9 running back is second in the league in rushing yards, just 265 behind Boston College’s A.J. Dillon, who has rushed for 1,685 yards.

A native of Titusville, Fla., Hawkins registered seven 100-yards rushing games, including a career best 233 yards in a win over Syracuse on Nov. 23. It was the most rushing yards by a Cardinal since Anthony Allen rushed for 275 against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 6, 2007 and the seventh-most in program history. The winner of the 2019 Jacobs Blocking Trophy, Becton is the first UofL offensive lineman to earn All-American accolades since Kurt Quarterman was a third-team selection in 2006.

Becton was the first offensive lineman in school history to be named first team All-ACC, and is the first lineman to earn first team accolades since Jamon Brown was named first team in the American Athletic Conference in 2014.

A 6-foot-8, 370-pound junior from Highland Springs, Virginia, Becton has started 33 games at offensive tackle for the Cardinals and was named ACC “Offensive Lineman of the Week” on Oct. 7 after his performance in the 41-39 victory over Boston College. He graded out better than 80 percent in eight games and registered over 60 knockdown blocks to help the Cardinals finish the regular season at 7-5 and 5-3 in the ACC -- a turnaround of five games from a year ago.