A. J. Hawk

Aaron James "A. J." Hawk (born January 6, 1984) is a former American football linebacker who played 11 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers fifth overall in the 2006 NFL Draft and he would later win Super Bowl XLV with the team over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was also a member of the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons. He played college football at Ohio State, where he earned All-American honors twice and won the Lombardi Award as a senior.

A. J. Hawk
refer to caption
Hawk with the Packers in 2011
No. 50, 54
Personal information
Born:January 6, 1984 (age 35)
Kettering, Ohio
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:248 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Centerville (Centerville, Ohio)
College:Ohio State
NFL Draft:2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:947
Forced fumbles:3
Fumble recoveries:5
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Hawk was born in Kettering, Ohio, and grew up in Centerville, both suburbs of Dayton.[1] He attended Centerville High School, where he was a teammate of former Cincinnati Bengals kicker Mike Nugent on the football team. As a freshman at Centerville High School, Hawk made the varsity football team.[1] He holds multiple defensive records and is one of three active NFL players who played for the Centerville Elks high school football team.[2] Hawk's records include most tackles in a game (31) on three separate occasions. He also has the most career tackles (583).[3] Hawk was a two-time All-State player in high school (1999 and 2000).

College career

Hawk enrolled in the Ohio State University, and played for coach Jim Tressel's Ohio State Buckeyes football team from 2002 to 2005. Ohio State won the 2002 BCS National Championship with Hawk as a freshman. During his four-year Buckeye career, he played in 51 games, starting 38 of them.[4] He had 394 tackles with 196 of them solo, 41 of them for losses, 15 and a half sacks, seven interceptions, and 13 fumbles recovered.[4] He also had two fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles and two touchdowns, one on a blocked punt and one on an interception. His performances earned him first team All Big Ten honors in all three years he started and the Most Valuable Player award for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Following his senior season of 2005, he won the Lombardi Award as the best college football linebacker, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.

Honoring Pat Tillman

Before the 2005 season for the Ohio State Buckeyes Hawk, along with fellow starting linebackers Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel and center Nick Mangold, grew their hair out long to honor Pat Tillman.[5] They made the decision to do so after reading about him in Jim Tressel's 2004 Winners Manual handed out to all the players in the fall. Tillman turned down a National Football League (NFL) contract worth $3.6 million to join the Army in May 2002, after the outbreak of The War on Terror and was killed in action on April 22, 2004.

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 1 in
(1.85 m)
248 lb
(112 kg)
4.59 s 1.56 s 2.72 s 3.96 s 6.82 s 40 in
(1.02 m)
9 ft 7 in
(2.92 m)
24 reps
40 from Ohio State Pro Day, all others from NFL Combine[6]

Green Bay Packers

Hawk in 2006 during player introductions.

On April 29, 2006 Hawk was drafted in the 1st round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. He was the 5th overall pick of the draft. He signed a 6-year contract with the Packers, worth $37.5 million, on July 28, 2006.[7] He recorded his first NFL sack on September 24, 2006, when he sacked Detroit Lions Quarterback Jon Kitna in the fourth quarter. Hawk was selected the NFL Rookie Of The Week on October 23, 2006, in a win against the Miami Dolphins. He led Green Bay with 12 total tackles in the game and recorded one sack in the Packers’ 34–24 victory.

For his effort in the November 12, 2006, 23–17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, Hawk was selected the NFL Rookie of the Week for the second time. Hawk recorded 13 total tackles and 1.5 sacks, and forced one fumble. Early in the third quarter, Hawk sacked the Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson for a 10-yard loss. He later combined with teammate Nick Barnett for another 10-yard sack.

On December 10, 2006, Hawk recorded his first NFL interception when he picked off Alex Smith during a 30–19 win over the San Francisco 49ers. On December 31, during the Packers' final game of the 2006 season, Hawk recorded his second interception of the season during a 26–7 win over the Chicago Bears.

In his rookie season, Hawk led the Packers' defense with 119 total tackles, 82 of them solo. He also recorded two interceptions, 3.5 sacks, six passes defended and one forced fumble.[8] He was third place in voting for the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year.[9]

Hawk was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2010 and 2011.

In his second season, he was second on the team with 105 total tackles, 78 of them solo. He also had one interception, one sack, four passes defended and one forced fumble. During the 2007 postseason he recorded eight tackles and one sack in two games.

In 2008, after spending the first nine games as the Packers' weakside linebacker Hawk was moved to middle linebacker after Nick Barnett tore his ACL. Hawk had 86 tackles and 3 sacks in the full 16 game season he started for Green Bay.[8]

With a Dom Capers' hiring and the preceding switch to the 3-4 defense, Hawk moved to inside linebacker for the 2009 season.

At the end of the 2010 season, Hawk and the Packers appeared in Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the 31–25 win, he was a starter and recorded five total tackles.[10]

Hawk was released by the Packers on March 2, 2011,[11] then resigned the following day, March 3, 2011, with a new five-year deal.[12]

In 2011, Hawk was fined $10,000 by the NFL for making an obscene gesture during a game against the St. Louis Rams. Hawk was an alternate for the Pro Bowl. In March 2013, Hawk restructured his contract, reducing his 2013 salary from $5.45 million to $3.6 million. His 2014 salary was reduced by $2.5 million and his 2015 salary was reduced by nearly $3 million. All told, the total value of the remaining three years on Hawk's deal is reduced by about $7 million ($17.85 million to $10.6 million), providing the Packers with more cap space.[13]

On February 25, 2015, Hawk was released by the Packers.[14] Hawk led the team in tackles in five of his nine seasons in Green Bay.[15]

Cincinnati Bengals

On March 10, 2015, Hawk signed a two-year, $3.25 million contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.[16][17] Hawk recorded his first sack with the Bengals in a Week 10 game against the Houston Texans.

Hawk was released on April 26, 2016.[18]

Atlanta Falcons

On October 4, 2016, Hawk was signed by the Atlanta Falcons.[19] He was released on October 25, 2016.[20]


On January 7, 2017, Hawk announced his retirement on a podcast with Albert Breer.

On April 18, 2017 Hawk informed Packers' general manager Ted Thompson of his decision to retire with the Packers.[21]

GM Ted Thompson said, “The first thing that needs to be said about A.J. Hawk is that he is a good man,” Thompson said. “He was a terrific teammate and a true professional during his career, and we were lucky to have him. A.J. will always be a Packer. We wish the best to him and the entire Hawk family, and thank them for all that they gave to the team and the city of Green Bay.”[21]

Mike McCarthy said, “We were fortunate to make A.J. my first pick as head coach in 2006, and he spent the next nine years giving everything he had to the Green Bay community and the Packers,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “His leadership and toughness were instrumental in all of our success, and we thank him for all that he did for the organization and the community. We wish A.J., Laura and the rest of the Hawk family all the best, and I am confident that whatever the future holds, he will be successful.”[21]

Career statistics

2006 GB 16 119 82 37 3.5 1 2 0 2 31 14 25 0 8
2007 GB 16 105 78 27 1.0 1 1 0 1 1 10 10 0 4
2008 GB 16 86 67 19 3.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2009 GB 16 89 67 22 1.0 0 0 0 2 42 21 29 0 2
2010 GB 16 111 72 39 0.5 0 1 0 3 31 10 21 0 10
2011 GB 14 84 53 31 1.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
2012 GB 16 120 81 39 3.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013 GB 16 118 74 44 5.0 1 1 0 1 7 7 7 0 4
2014 GB 16 89 53 36 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2015 CIN 16 24 16 8 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total Total 158 947 644 303 20.0 3 5 0 9 121 13 29 0 35



  • GP: games played
  • COMB: combined tackles
  • TOTAL: total tackles
  • AST: assisted tackles
  • SACK: sacks
  • FF: forced fumbles
  • FR: fumble recoveries
  • FR YDS: fumble return yards
  • INT: interceptions
  • IR YDS: interception return yards
  • AVG IR: average interception return
  • LNG: longest interception return
  • TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
  • PD: passes defensed

Personal life

Hawk is married to Laura Quinn, the sister of former NFL quarterback Brady Quinn. Hawk's final game with the Buckeyes was the 2006 Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame, where Quinn was playing at the time. During the game Laura wore a custom-made jersey, half Ohio State and half Notre Dame, combining Brady's number 10 and Hawk's number 47, making the number 17. Hawk managed to sack his future brother-in-law twice during the game and was co-Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the bowl, which ended with an Ohio State victory.[23]

Laura gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter named Lennon Noel, on December 4, 2010. They welcomed their second child, a son named Hendrix Knight, in January 2013.

Hawk hosts a podcast called The HawkCast.[24]


  1. ^ a b "A.J. Hawk Biography". JockBio. Black Book Partners.
  2. ^ Elks Football – NFL Players Archived November 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Elks Football – Team Records Archived October 31, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b "A. J. Hawk Bio". Green Bay Packers. Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  5. ^ Archdeacon, Tom (December 29, 2005). "OSU linebackers let hair down to honor Tillman". East Valley Tribune.
  6. ^ "A.J. Hawk". NFL Draft Scout.com. March 25, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  7. ^ "AJ Hawk". Rotoworld.com. July 28, 2006. Archived from the original on February 21, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "A.J. Hawk". NFL. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
  9. ^ "National Football League: Awards". CBSSports.com. Archived from the original on February 23, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
  10. ^ "Super Bowl XLV - Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers - February 6th, 2011". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  11. ^ "Packers release A.J. Hawk". ESPN. March 2, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2011.
  12. ^ "Adam Schefter Twitter". Twitter. March 3, 2011. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
  13. ^ Western, Evan "Tex" (March 18, 2013). "A.J. Hawk Contract Details Released; Packers Gain $2M In Cap Space". Acme Packing Company. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  14. ^ "Green Bay Packers on Twitter". Twitter. February 25, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  15. ^ "A.J. Hawk". Green Bay Packers. 2014. Archived from the original on June 29, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  16. ^ Gantt, Darin (March 10, 2015). "Bengals reach two-year deal with linebacker A.J. Hawk". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  17. ^ Harvey, Coley (March 12, 2015). "Breaking down A.J. Hawk's new Bengals contract". ESPN.com. Retrieved March 12, 2015.
  18. ^ "Cincinnati Bengals Release A.J. Hawk".
  19. ^ Jackson, Curtis (October 4, 2016). "Falcons sign LB Hawk, release LB Schofield". AtlantaFalcons.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  20. ^ Jackson, Curtis (October 25, 2016). "Falcons release Person, Hawk; sign Ward, Ridley". AtlantaFalcons.com. Archived from the original on October 26, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  21. ^ a b c "LB A.J. Hawk retires as a Packer". Packers.com. April 18, 2017.
  22. ^ "A.J. Hawk Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
  23. ^ "Fiesta Bowl" (PDF). Fiesta Bowl. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 20, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
  24. ^ "The HawkCast Website".

External links

2002 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

The 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes football team was the national champion of the 2002 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team was the first in Division I-A (now Division I FBS) history to finish its season at 14–0, and the second to win 14 games, following BYU's 14–1 season in 1996. The Buckeyes' record-tying 14 wins has since been matched by multiple teams, including the 2014 national championship team, which went 14–1. Led by co-MVPs junior quarterback Craig Krenzel and sophomore wide receiver/cornerback Chris Gamble, freshman standout tailback Maurice Clarett, and senior safety Mike Doss, the Buckeyes won the Big Ten, then won the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, which was also the 2003 BCS National Championship Game to finish as college football's national champions for the first time since 1968.

2005 Big Ten Conference football season

The 2005 Big Ten Conference football season was the 110th season for the Big Ten Conference.

2005 NCAA Division I-A football season

The 2005 NCAA Division I-A football season was the highest level of college football competition in the United States organized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The regular season began on September 1, 2005 and ended on December 3, 2005. The postseason concluded on January 4, 2006 with the Rose Bowl, which served as the season's BCS National Championship Game.

The USC Trojans and the Texas Longhorns finished the regular season as the only undefeated teams in Division I-A and consequently met in the Rose Bowl to play for the national title. Texas defeated USC largely due to the performance of quarterback Vince Young, who gained 467 yards of total offense and ran for three touchdowns. The Longhorns won their first national championship since 1970, and their first consensus national title since 1969.

2005 Ohio State Buckeyes football team

The 2005 Ohio State Buckeyes football team represented The Ohio State University in the 2005 NCAA Division I-A football season. The team's head football coach was Jim Tressel. The Buckeyes played their home games in Ohio Stadium. The team finished the season with a win-loss record of 10–2, and a Big Ten Conference record of 7–1. They tied for the Big Ten championship with Penn State.

In 2005, A. J. Hawk was the sixth Ohio State player to receive the Lombardi Award. He was also voted OSU's season MVP for this year and was All-American. All year, Troy Smith and Justin Zwick competed for the spot of starting quarterback.

Early in the season, they played their first ever meeting against the Texas Longhorns of The University of Texas, which they lost, 25–22.To conclude the season, they made an appearance in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl and defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 34–20. They finished the season ranked No. 4 in the nation.

2005 Texas vs. Ohio State football game

The 2005 Texas vs. Ohio State football game, played September 10, 2005, was the first-ever meeting between The University of Texas at Austin and The Ohio State University in a college football game. The two teams came into the game ranked No. 2 and No. 4, respectively. It was the second game of the 2005 season for both teams. Schools have become increasingly conservative in scheduling non-conference opponents of a high caliber, so a meeting of two top-five teams in the country was unusual this early in the season. For either team, winning the game would boost their chances of ultimately playing in the BCS National Championship Game while the loser likely faced the end of their national championship hopes.

According to observers such as USA Today, the game between the Texas Longhorns and Ohio State Buckeyes was one of the most-anticipated games of the 2005 season. Due to the high level of anticipation, ESPN chose the game for the location of its weekly College GameDay broadcast.The 2005 Texas Longhorns football team (variously "Texas" or "UT" or the "Horns") was coached by head football coach Mack Brown and led on the field by quarterback Vince Young. The 2005 Ohio State Buckeyes football team (variously "Ohio State" or "OSU" or the "Bucks") was coached by Jim Tressel. Justin Zwick and Troy Smith shared time as quarterback due to disciplinary measures enforced against Smith. The game was a back-and-forth affair which was ultimately won by Texas, 25–22. The game's attendance was 105,565, which set the then all-time attendance record for Ohio Stadium. The game was televised nationally on ABC and drew 9.9 million viewers.ESPN and College Football Rivals, were among the observers who named the game one of the best football games of the season. Texas' win kept them near the front of the national championship picture. They ultimately finished the season unbeaten, snaring the Big 12 Conference and NCAA championships. Ohio State finished the season with ten wins and two losses and ranked No. 4 in the nation.

2006 Green Bay Packers season

The 2006 Green Bay Packers season was the franchise's 88th season overall and their 86th in the National Football League.

This season resulted in an 8–8 record. After the firing of Mike Sherman, the Packers hired Mike McCarthy as their head coach. McCarthy helped improved the Packers from 4–12 the previous year to a .500 win average in 2006. The Packers failed to make the playoffs for the second straight year after the New York Giants gained the tie-breaker over the Packers in the last week of the 2006 NFL season.

Bill Conley

Bill Conley is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Ohio Dominican University from 2005 to 2010, compiling a record of 46–21. Conley played college football at Ohio State University under head coach Woody Hayes. He later served as an assistant at his alma mater under head coaches John Cooper and Jim Tressel.

Craig Krenzel

Craig Krenzel (born July 1, 1981) is a former American football quarterback. He played college football at The Ohio State University. As the starting quarterback, he led the 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes football team to a national championship. He played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) for one season, in 2004, with the Chicago Bears. Krenzel is currently a radio commentator for WBNS 97.1 The FAN in Columbus, which broadcasts the Ohio State Buckeyes football games.

Doug Datish

Doug Datish (born August 1, 1983) is a former American football center. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football at Ohio State.

Datish was also a member of the Indianapolis Colts.

Dragon Stadium, Southlake

Dragon Stadium is a stadium in Southlake, Texas. It is used mostly for American football games. The stadium is Located at 1085 S. Kimball Ave. in Southlake, Texas, the stadium serves Carroll ISD, and is the home of the Carroll Senior High School Dragons football team. The stadium was used by the Major League Soccer club Dallas Burn for the 2003 season, after having used the Cotton Bowl since its founding in 1996.

The stadium was built in 2001 and the first game held at the stadium was on September 7, 2001, an American football game against the Haltom Buffaloes. The final cost of the stadium was in the range of between $18 million and $19 million. The stadium shares land with the Transportation Offices for Carroll ISD. Before 2003, the stadium could seat 8,000 people. When the Dallas Burn Soccer Club terminated their lease with Carroll ISD, they left bleachers that they had assembled in the East endzone. The new capacity is approximately 11,000 people. The endzone bleachers are home to the Carroll Dragon Band and the Emerald Belle Drill Team at home games. The Press Box is accessed via elevator and has two floors. The second floor houses operations and coach booths. The first floor houses administration and scouting personnel. The playing surface is artificial and encompasses many draining features due to how easily the concourse can flood in heavy rains. In 2006, the home parking lot was doubled in size due to expected population growth. As of August 2006, the Carroll ISD school board voted to hold all future graduation ceremonies for graduating seniors of Carroll Senior High at Dragon Stadium. The decision spurred a lot of controversy due to possible weather issues and heat concerns.

In 2006, Under Armour filmed part of a popular commercial called "Click-Clack" at Dragon Stadium. One of the opening scenes shows Green Bay Packers linebacker A. J. Hawk running across the turf at Dragon Stadium.

One interesting feature of the stadium is that, if one sits on the north side, it is possible to see another local high school football stadium standing in the shadows: Mustang-Panther Stadium built in the 1970s, operated by the neighboring GCISD Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District.

In June 2009, the Carroll ISD school board voted to issue bonds to pay for a $5 million renovation of the stadium. This renovation enclosed both east and west endzones.

New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski snuck into the stadium in June 2017 for a workout and posted on his social media.

List of Green Bay Packers players

The following is a list of notable past or present players of the Green Bay Packers professional American football team.

Mike Nugent

Michael Nugent (born March 2, 1982) is an American football placekicker who is currently a free agent. He played college football for Ohio State University, and was twice recognized as a consensus All-American. He was drafted by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft, and has also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, and Chicago Bears.

Nate Salley

Nate Salley, Jr. (born February 5, 1984) is a former American football safety. He was originally drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played college football at Ohio State.

Nick Mangold

Nicholas Allan Mangold (born January 13, 1984) is a former American football center. He played college football at Ohio State, and was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Mangold was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection with the Jets, and was considered to be among the best at his position.

Ohio State Buckeyes football yearly statistical leaders

Ohio State Buckeyes football yearly statistical leaders in points scored, rushing yards, passing yards, receptions, and total tackles.

Rob Sims

Robert Sims (born December 6, 1983) is a former American football guard in the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played college football at Ohio State.

Robert Reynolds (American football)

Robert Reynolds (born May 20, 1981 in Bowling Green, Kentucky) is a former American football linebacker of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football at Ohio State.

Scott McMullen

Scott McMullen (born November 18, 1980) is a former American football quarterback who played one season with the Columbus Destroyers of the Arena Football League. He played college football at Ohio State University. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League.

Tim Spencer (American football)

Timothy Spencer (born December 10, 1960) is a former professional American football running back who played in the USFL and NFL from 1983 to 1990.

A. J. Hawk—championships, awards, and honors

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