Louisville Cardinals RB Javian Hawkins opts out to enter NFL draft

Hawkins scores monster 90-yard Louisville TD before halftime (0:35)

Javian Hawkins takes the handoff and treks 90 yards untouched down the field to score a Louisville touchdown to cut the Virginia Tech lead to 21-14 before halftime. (0:35)

Louisville running back Javian Hawkins announced Monday that he was opting out of the remainder of the season and would enter the NFL draft.

Hawkins announced his decision on social media Monday after missing Louisville's Week 11 game, in which the Cardinals fell to Virginia 31-17, dropping to 2-6 on the season.

"I would like to thank ... the entire coaching staff for their guidance," Hawkins wrote. "They have made me a better player and person. I would like to thank my teammates for their support, both on and off the field. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank the best fans in college football."

Hawkins went on to thank Louisville's first responders and medical professionals "for keeping us safe during this challenge, COVID environment."

Hawkins, a third-year sophomore, is currently third in the ACC with 822 yards rushing. He finished last season with 1,525 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. In his 20 games at Louisville, Hawkins topped 100 yards 12 times.

In Mel Kiper's latest 2021 NFL draft rankings, Hawkins is sixth among running backs.

Without Hawkins last Saturday, Louisville turned to Maurice Burkley and Jalen Mitchell in the backfield but relied heavily on QB Malik Cunningham's mobility. Cunningham finished the game with 197 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.