Hawkins changed tune day before committing to USC

Rancho Cucamonga defensive back Chris Hawkins was still leaning toward verbally committing to Stanford the night before his scheduled announcement on Sunday at the Nike Football Training Camp.

When decision time arrived the four-star junior pledged to USC, which swooped in with a scholarship offer on March 9, the day before Hawkins was going to commit to Stanford.

“I talked to him on Saturday and he was acting like it was going to be Stanford so I asked him ‘What’s your dream school?’” said Armond Hawkins, Chris’ father. “He said ‘USC.’ He was mad that they didn’t offer him at their junior day. He was holding a grudge, but he knew USC was where he wanted to go.”

Hawkins, a 6-foot, 170-pound cornerback who won the defensive back MVP at Sunday’s camp at Cerritos College, informed USC at their junior day Feb. 11 that he would commit on the spot if offered a scholarship. But the Trojans’ offer didn’t come until the day before Hawkins was planning to end his recruitment.

“Now he’s the happiest fish in the pond,” Armond Hawkins said. “I had to explain to him that the USC family and alumni is much better. If you want to sit next to Condoleezza Rice, go to Stanford, but they just don’t care about football up there like they do at USC.”

Hawkins collected a total of 27 scholarship offers, including from Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan, Boise State and Nebraska. The last offer came from LSU on March 29 in an attempt to sway him days before his second scheduled announcement. Hawkins took an unofficial visit to Stanford in February and attended several USC spring practices last week, which apparently made an impression.

“He’s hot right now,” Armond Hawkins said. “If LSU is calling you know you’re up there where you need to be. The USC coaches are concerned about him changing his mind, but he’s sticking to it and there ain’t no changing.”