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June 15, 2007
Football becomes family affair at Colorado
Dan Hawkins went 53-11 at Boise State from 2001-05, but the kid asking him to pass the peas at the dinner table had him beat.
His oldest son, Cody, went undefeated in four years at Boise's Bishop Kelly High School. Through freshman football, JV and varsity play, Cody Hawkins went a combined 41-0.
Now, the pair hopes to bring that Hawkins magic to Boulder, Colo.
After a 2-10 campaign in 2006, Colorado enters its second season with Dan Hawkins in charge. The 2007 season will be the first with son Cody as a full participant on the team.
For the Hawkins pair, it's a time to catch up on some lost time on the football field.
"When you're a coach's kid you don't expect to see your dad a lot," Cody said. "Now that we can spend a bunch of time together, it's totally awesome."
Dan Hawkins tried to make it to as many events as he could for his four children. He missed most of Cody's junior high, freshman and JV games. He caught most of Cody's varsity home games and watched others streamed live on the Internet.
"You never can really make up for that time," Dan Hawkins said. "People talk about quality time. The reality in parenting is, it's also quantity time. I've made every effort I can. … There's a lot of things you wish you were there for that you weren't."
Father and son are happy Cody is in Boulder, but the decision to bring him there was tough on both.
At first, Dan Hawkins debated whether he should recruit his son to Boise State with all the burden and pressure Cody would face as the coach's son. After watching Cody in prospect camps and combines, the coach in Dan Hawkins knew Cody could play for Boise State - and Colorado.
The top-ranked recruit in Idaho, Cody committed to Boise State prior to his senior season. After his father accepted the head coaching position in Boulder, the offer to play for dad still stood.
Cody, a three-star recruit, was torn between playing for his father or staying where he had spent the last nine years of his life. Through his time in Boise, he had grown close with the Broncos coaching staff - including new head coach Chris Petersen.
Cody developed as a quarterback by watching Boise State practices, talking to coaches and emulating Broncos quarterbacks - especially Ryan Dinwiddie. Like the 5-foot-11 Hawkins, Dinwiddie didn't have the prototypical height for a quarterback.
Cody's decision was held close to the vest until signing day in February.
Dan Hawkins said he didn't know Cody would join him in Boulder until his letter came over the fax machine.
"My mom knew. My dad had no idea," Cody Hawkins said. "I never really talked to my dad about it. We had our fingers crossed that the right decision would be made and it was definitely the right decision."
Since Cody arrived on campus, the father-son duo seems to have been a bigger deal to outsiders.The two were asked about it routinely, especially after Cody entered a three-way race to start at quarterback. (Dan Hawkins said he will not micromanage the decisions of offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich and his staff).
Hawkins said opposing programs have used Cody's presence to recruit negatively against the Buffaloes, but Cody was the host for the junior college transfer Nelson during his official visit.
In the locker room, Dan Hawkins realizes that as much as Cody tries to be just another player, he'll always be viewed by some as "Hawk's kid."
"We talked about that before he came here," Dan Hawkins said. "He said, 'Dad, It's always been that way even though you haven't been coaching me. I've always been the coach's kid, so don't worry about that. I've been dealing with that for a long time.' "
Cody can't change his DNA and upbringing. He and his father have similar facial expressions and sayings. Cody has at times embraced his unique spot as the coach's son by doing the occasional impression of his father for teammates.
"I try to do as much as I can to just be another player on the team," Cody said. "I'm not going to park in my dad's spot or show up late to meetings. I'm not going to do anything like that. I want to make sure the guys know I'm on the team because I'm a hard worker and I love Colorado. I think I do a decent job of that."
David Fox is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.