A four-star receiver coming out of Buena Park High School in Buena Park, Calif., Jaylinn Hawkins proved during his time at California that he has a knack for making plays on the ball.
Like this play he made against Stanford, which earned him a spot on SportsCenter's Top-10 plays.
Hawkins' interception was just one of the many plays the Cal Bears made in their 24-20 win over Stanford on Nov. 23 during the 2019 season.
When he arrived on campus, the Bears' coaching staff believed Hawkins was best suited to defensive back. Hawkins played both cornerback and safety. As a freshman, Hawkins started three games at safety. He then went on to start 36 games for the Bears and recorded 156 tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss, 10 interceptions and three forced fumbles. He also returned nine kicks for 129 yards.
Hawkins is eager for the chance to continue to make plays in Atlanta.
"Everything I want to do is get the ball," Hawkins said on Saturday. "That's just been my game, it can be from a strip or pick aspect. I grew up playing offense, so now that I'm playing defense my biggest thing is how can I get to the ball?"
The Falcons forced 20 turnovers in the 2019 season which was tied for 19th in the league.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn often talks about how important it is for his defense to create turnovers, and Hawkins appears to be the ideal fit in this regard.