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MLB: Former Carl Albert star Taylor Hawkins signs with Tampa Bay Rays

Edmond Santa Fe's Ty Hensley, a first-round draft pick of the New York Yankees, is still weighing his options.
by Ryan Aber Modified: July 6, 2012 at 11:54 am •  Published: July 6, 2012
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photo - ORU / CLASS 5A HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL / STATE TOURNAMENT: Titans catcher Taylor Hawkins (center) collects congrats from teamates after his home run against the Zebras during their 5A State Baseball Championship at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, May 12, 2012. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World ORG XMIT: DTI1205121917178915
ORU / CLASS 5A HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL / STATE TOURNAMENT: Titans catcher Taylor Hawkins (center) collects congrats from teamates after his home run against the Zebras during their 5A State Baseball Championship at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, May 12, 2012. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World ORG XMIT: DTI1205121917178915

The prospect of starting a pro career now wound up being too much for Carl Albert High School catcher Taylor Hawkins to turn down.

Hawkins, an Oklahoma signee and 12th-round draft pick of the Rays, has decided to sign with Tampa Bay. Hawkins announced his decision to his Oklahoma Outlaws teammates Thursday night.

He said Outlaws coach Doug Weese has been a big influence on his progression as a player.

“He's probably believed in me the most and helped me more than any other coach has,” Hawkins said. “He helped me the last four years to become who I am right now.”

Hawkins will fly to Tampa, Fla., on Sunday for a Monday physical before officially signing.

“I'm pretty excited right now because that's all I've ever wanted to do,” Hawkins said. “I'm kind of speechless still.”

Hawkins was The Oklahoman's All-State and Big All-City player of the year, hitting 28 home runs and leading his team to the Class 5A title.

He's also been named to numerous All-America teams, most recently by USA Today.

Hawkins said his career would likely begin with the Princeton (W.Va.) Rays of the Appalachian League.

Hawkins said he spoke to Sooners coach Sunny Golloway about his decision.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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