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Lombardi Award Winner Could Be Perfect Fit For Titletown


A.J. Hawk could be the most humble player the Packers have ever drafted.

He has an undying dedication to not be seen as better than others and has a history of "rules" he has used to help ground himself.

When Hawk was in high school in Ohio he instructed his parents they could cheer for team touchdowns, but they couldn't cheer for him. He also never wore varsity jackets to prevent seeming "big time."

At Ohio State he personally requested that an inch be taken off his roster height, going from 6-2 to 6-1, so that he would never meet anyone who thought he would be taller in person.

It's clear the smallest market in the NFL will be a good place for the Midwest native. The Packers staff raves over the character and quality of individual they have in Hawk.

"I think he is a small-town guy," GM Ted Thompson said. "I think the fans here are going to love him. This is the perfect place for him. He understands what it means to be a Green Bay Packer. He knows what he is getting into."

Another example of Hawk's small-town personality was his decision not to take the free trip to New York to join the other premium draft picks. The NFL had dubbed Hawk the kind of player they wanted to have on showcase at the draft. But Hawk wanted no part of the limelight.

"I didn't want to sit in the green room with a bunch of cameras in my face, to tell you the truth," Hawk said. "The offensive guys can have all the glory. I don't want any part of that."

In his first visit to Green Bay Saturday night to greet team officials and the media, Hawk looked like he had just come from New York dressed sharply in a suit and tie.

Polite and well-spoken, Hawk outlined his goals with the team in front of a packed media auditorium.

"Everyone here expects to win, and that is how it was in Columbus," Hawk said. "I just want to get in here and do whatever the coaches need me to do to help us win games."

Hawk will report to mini-camp Thursday. But for now he has to return to Columbus. He has classes to go to on Monday.

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