Hawkridge followed chairman Peter Swann to Glanford Park from Gainsborough and was awarded man of the match for the second home friendly running against Grimsby.
The 23 year old filled in at right back after Andy Dawson limped off with a dead leg and Collins was full of praise after the game.
"The biggest compliment that I can give him is that we haven't missed Mark Duffy.
"He was our key player last year so to throw out a statement like that after three games is quite big.
"He's settled really well and he certainly looks like he's up for the challenge"
The Iron skipper also hopes that the club can secure striker Deon Burton on a permanent basis in the next few days.
Burton has scored two goals in three pre season appearances including a long range effort against the Mariners.
"If we can manage to get hold of Deon Burton permanently, that will be a great signing for us at that level", Collins added.