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Hernando's Tyrail Hawkins, Robert Hill Bronson sign

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Wed. February 6, 2013 | Matt Baker | Email

Hernando's Tyrail Hawkins, Robert Hill Bronson sign

BROOKSVILLE – One of the most accomplished senior classes in Hernando history began to make their college futures official this morning.

ATH Tyrail Hawkins (Georgia Southern) and DE Robert Hill Bronson (Tennessee Tech)  signed with their colleges Wednesday morning at a signing day ceremony at the school.

"The certainty that it's all said and done for right now is good," Bronson said. "It's a lot off my chest."

They helped take the Leopards to new heights. Their first district title since 1997 came last fall, and the school had never reached the playoffs in three consecutive seasons before this season.

Hawkins, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound athlete, will likely play defensive back for the Division I-AA power but was one of Tampa Bay’s most versatile players in high school. He lined up at quarterback, running back, receiver, defensive back and returner while rushing for more than 2,300 yards and earning first-team all-North Suncoast honors.

Hawkins chose the Eagles over Ball State and Coastal Carolina. He will likely play defensive back and kick returner for Georgia Southern but could see time on offense, too.

"I always dreamt about this, since I was 6," Hawkins said.

Bronson, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound hard hitter ranked among Hernando County's leaders with 90 tackles and 10 sacks this season.

Pass rusher Darren Hambrick did not sign Wednesday morning. The two-star recruit told the Times in the fall that he was committed to Missouri but said recently that he was not going to be a Tiger.

During Wednesday's ceremony, he told the Times he has no current plans go sign with a college. But his father, the former Pasco and NFL star of the same name, said Hambrick could sign later on Wednesday.

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