A. J. Hawk

a. j. hawk

a. j. hawk was born in Kettering, Ohio, and grew up in Centerville, a suburb of Dayton. He went to Centerville High School, where he played football with Mike Nugent, who later became a Cincinnati Bengals kicker. In his freshman year, he made it to the varsity football team. Hawk set some defensive records at Centerville High, like having the most tackles in a game (31) three times and the most career tackles (583). He was a two-time All-State player in high school in 1999 and 2000.

Hawk is married to Laura Hawk, who is the sister of former NFL quarterback Brady Quinn. They got married in 2007 and have four children. One of his brothers-in-law is Jack Johnson. In his last college game at Ohio State, he played against Notre Dame, where Brady Quinn was quarterback. Laura wore a custom-made jersey combining both teams and a. j. hawk managed to sack his future brother-in-law twice. He was named co-Most Valuable Player of the game, which Ohio State won.

Hawk hosted a podcast called The Hawk Cast and partnered with Pat McAfee for a daily YouTube show during the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020. He now co-hosts the last two hours of The Pat McAfee Show on ESPN and YouTube and occasionally fills in for McAfee. A.J. Hawk has shared some interesting tidbits, like using his left foot for braking while driving, experiencing narcoleptic episodes only in the evening while driving, and once accidentally driving a golf cart into a pond at a charity event hosted by Brady Quinn.

College career

a. j. hawk went to Ohio State University and played for their football team, the Ohio State Buckeyes, from 2002 to 2005. They won the 2002 BCS National Championship when he was a freshman. In his four years at Ohio State, he played in 51 games and started 38 of them. He made 394 tackles, 196 of which were solo, with 41 tackles for a loss, 15.5 sacks, seven interceptions, and 13 passes defended. He also recovered two fumbles, forced three fumbles, and scored two touchdowns – one from a blocked punt and one from an interception.

His excellent performance earned him first-team All-Big Ten honors for all three starting years and the Most Valuable Player award for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. In his senior season in 2005, he won the Lombardi Award for the best college football linebacker and was recognized as a unanimous All-American.

Professional career

The Green Bay Packers drafted Hawk in the first round, fifth overall, in the 2006 NFL Draft. He was the first linebacker taken in the 2006 draft.

In 2006

On July 28, 2006, the Green Bay Packers signed a. j. hawk to a six-year, $37.50 million contract with $14.76 million guaranteed and a $1.91 million signing bonus. Coach Mike McCarthy made Hawk the starting weakside linebacker in his rookie season, alongside Brady Poppinga and Nick Barnett. In his first regular-season game against the Chicago Bears, Hawk had five tackles and one pass deflection in a 26-0 loss.

He recorded eight tackles on September 24, 2006, including his first career sack on Detroit Lions’ Jon Kitna. In Week 12, he had a season-high 15 tackles in a game against the Seattle Seahawks. On December 10, 2006, a. j. hawk recorded five tackles, a pass deflection, and his first career interception against the San Francisco 49ers. Hawk started all 16 games as a rookie, finishing with 119 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble. He placed third in voting for the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year.

In 2007

In 2007, defensive coordinator Bob Sanders kept Hawk, Barnett, and Poppinga as the starting linebackers. Further, in Week 3, a. j. hawk had 11 tackles in a 31–24 win against the San Diego Chargers. For the season, he had 105 tackles, four pass deflections, a sack, and one interception in 16 games and 16 starts.

The Green Bay Packers finished first in the NFC North with a 13–3 record and got a first-round bye. On January 12, 2008, Hawk played in his first playoff game, making one tackle as the Packers beat the Seattle Seahawks 42–20 in the NFC Divisional Playoff. The next week, he had seven tackles and one sack in a 23–20 loss to the New York Giants in the NFC Championship Game. The Giants later won Super Bowl XLII by defeating the New England Patriots 17–14.

In 2008

Hawk was the starting left outside linebacker for the third year under Bob Sanders. He began the season with a strong performance, getting ten tackles in the Packers’ win over the Minnesota Vikings. In Week 11, he took over as the starting middle linebacker when Nick Barnett got injured. Hawk finished the 2008 season with 86 tackles, three sacks, and one pass deflection in 16 games. However, the Packers had a tough season, ending with a 6–10 record, and they didn’t make it to the playoffs.

In 2009

The Green Bay Packers made some coaching changes, bringing in Dom Capers as defensive coordinator. Capers introduced a new 3-4 defense, moving a. j. hawk from weakside linebacker to inside linebacker. Mike McCarthy, the head coach, named Hawk and Nick Barnett as the starting inside linebackers, along with outside linebackers Aaron Kampman and Clay Matthews III. In Week 3, Hawk had ten tackles in a 36–17 win against the St. Louis Rams. During the 2009 season, Hawk played in all 16 games, starting 14, and recorded 89 tackles, two pass deflections, two interceptions, and one sack.

In 2010

Hawk and Barnett remained the starting inside linebackers, playing alongside Clay Matthews III and Brad Jones. During Week 4, Hawk had 12 tackles, two pass deflections, and an interception against the Detroit Lions in a 28–26 win. In Week 6, he reached a season-high of 13 tackles in a 23–20 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

On December 26, 2010, Hawk recorded six tackles, deflected two passes, and got his third interception of the season in a 45–17 win against the New York Giants. For the 2010 season, Hawk finished with 111 tackles, ten pass deflections, three interceptions, and half a sack in 16 games. The Green Bay Packers finished with a 10–6 record and made it to the playoffs, culminating in a Super Bowl XLV victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers with Hawk contributing five tackles and a pass deflection.

In 2011

The Green Bay Packers initially released Hawk because of a high salary but then re-signed him to a new five-year, $33.75 million deal. He continued as a starting inside linebacker, now playing alongside Desmond Bishop after Nick Barnett’s release. Hawk got a $10,000 fine from the NFL for an obscene gesture after a sack during a game against the St. Louis Rams. In 2011, he recorded 84 tackles, three pass deflections, and 1.5 sacks in 14 games, but missed two due to injury.

In 2012

Hawk and Desmond Bishop remained the starting inside linebackers, playing alongside Erik Walden and Clay Matthews III. Hawk had a career-high 14 tackles in the season-opener against the San Francisco 49ers. He played all 16 games and reached a career-high of 120 tackles with three sacks.

In 2013

Hawk restructured his contract to help the Packers with cap space by reducing his salary for the next few years. Head coach Mike McCarthy had him and Brad Jones as the starting inside linebackers, along with Clay Matthews III and Nick Perry. In a game against the Baltimore Ravens, Hawk had a remarkable performance with ten tackles and three sacks. In another game against the Detroit Lions, he reached a season-high of 12 tackles and one pass deflection. Hawk finished the 2013 season with 118 tackles, five sacks, five pass deflections, and one interception in 16 games.

In 2014

Hawk and Brad Jones were the starting inside linebackers, along with Clay Matthews III and Julius Peppers. In a game against the Chicago Bears, Hawk had a season-high 13 tackles. He played all 16 games in 2014, starting 13, and recorded 89 tackles, two pass deflections, and half a sack. The Packers finished first in the NFC North with a 12–4 record and earned a first-round bye, but they lost in the NFC Championship Game. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers changed the inside linebacker lineup, starting Clay Matthews III and Sam Barrington instead, and Hawk’s starting role began to diminish during the season. This marked Hawk’s final appearance as a Green Bay Packer.

In 2015

Hawk was released by the Packers on February 25, 2015. He led the team in tackles for five of his nine seasons in Green Bay.

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Cincinnati Bengals

In 2015, a. j. hawk joined the Cincinnati Bengals on a two-year, $3.25 million contract. He was named the starting strongside linebacker by head coach Marvin Lewis, playing alongside Vincent Rey and Rey Maualuga. During the season, he had a high of six tackles in a game against the Baltimore Ravens and got his first sack as a Bengal in a Week 10 match against the Houston Texans. Hawk played in 16 games with 11 starts and finished the season with 24 tackles and one sack. Additionally, the Cincinnati Bengals released Hawk on April 26, 2016.

Atlanta Falcons

On October 4, 2016, the Atlanta Falcons signed Hawk to a one-year, $985,000 contract after Sean Weatherspoon got injured. Hawk played in one game for the Falcons but didn’t record any stats. He was then inactive for two games and released on October 25, 2016.

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On January 7, 2017, a. j. hawk announced his retirement during a podcast with Albert Breer. In April 2017, he let the Packers’ general manager, Ted Thompson, know about his decision to retire with the team. Ted Thompson praised Hawk as a good man and a great teammate, saying he’ll always be a part of the Packers. Mike McCarthy, the head coach, also appreciated Hawk’s leadership and toughness during his nine years with the Packers, wishing him and his family the best in their future endeavors.


A.J. Hawk had a successful football career with notable achievements, particularly in the NFL:

  1. Super Bowl XLV Champion: Hawk won Super Bowl XLV with the Green Bay Packers in the 2010 season.
  2. Lombardi Award: In his senior season at Ohio State, he won the Lombardi Award, given to the best college football linebacker.
  3. Consistent Performer: Hawk had several seasons with high tackle numbers, showcasing his reliability as a defensive player.
  4. Long NFL Career: He played in the NFL for over a decade, which is an achievement in itself due to the physical demands of professional football.
  5. Multiple Honors: Throughout his career, he received various honors and awards, demonstrating his impact on the field.
  6. NFL Records: Hawk holds several defensive records at Centerville High School, highlighting his exceptional talent from a young age.

While a. j. hawk may not have been the most decorated NFL player, his consistency and contributions on the field allowed him to have a successful and impactful football career.


 American – football player

A.J. Hawk is a former American football linebacker who played in the National Football League (NFL). He was born on January 6, 1984, in Kettering, Ohio. Hawk had a successful career both in college and in the NFL. In college, he played for the Ohio State Buckeyes and was a standout linebacker. He won the Lombardi Award as the best college football linebacker in his senior season.In the NFL, A.J. Hawk was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played for the Packers from 2006 to 2014 and later had brief stints with the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons in 2015 and 2016, respectively.


Aaron James Hawk

football linebacker

January 6, 1984

Age (39)

January 6, 1984 

Age (39)

Aaron James Hawk

football linebacker