Former Pitt running back Artrell Hawkins Sr., died on Thursday at the age of 63, his son told told the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat.
Hawkins played at Greater Johnstown and one season of junior college before joining the Panthers in 1977. He played in three seasons with the Panthers and was part of the team’s Gator Bowl wins in 1977 and 1980 and Fiesta Bowl win in 1979.
He scored four touchdowns as a senior in 1980, two on the ground and two through the air as he supplemented starting running back Randy McMillan.
Hawkins switched to wide receiver and signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent after his Pitt career ended.
“His legacy is undeniable within the town, but also within my family,” his son, Artrell Hawkins Jr., told the Tribune-Democrat.
Artrell Hawkins Jr. attended Cincinnati as a scholarship defensive back and spent a decade in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals, Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots, among others.
Hawkins’ younger son, Andrew Hawkins attended college at Toledo and first played in the CFL before NFL stints with the Bengals and Cleveland Browns.
“All of his sons were great football players,” Hawkins Jr. said. “It’s what we do. I can’t say I’m the one that started it. I didn’t. I’m grateful some of the things were corrected the generation after him. It started because of him. We call it the family business. He is the founder.”
Hawkins had been battling heath issues for the last few years.