Hawkins couldn't pass up on USC

LOS ANGELES -- While cheers undoubtedly went up throughout the USC coaching staff and Hawkins family alike when Chris Hawkins of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., verbally committed to the Trojans at the conclusion of the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp on Sunday afternoon, a sigh of relief escaped Hawkins’ mouth through all the smiles.

After moving from quarterback to cornerback prior to his junior season, the 6-foot, 170-pound Hawkins has spent countless hours working on changing direction. But nothing could have prepared him for the past month of his life.

Hawkins, an ESPN Watch List member, received more than two dozen offers during his junior year and on March 10 was ready to make a verbal commitment to the Stanford Cardinal. But just 24 hours before the scheduled announcement, a conversation with USC recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron saw another offer added to the mix, and a big one at that. Hawkins canceled his announcement plans as he mulled over the two schools, eventually settling on an April 1 decision date and deciding to stick with the Cardinal.

But once again, 24 hours before his scheduled announcement, the Trojans had something to say about it. Hawkins attended USC’s spring practice at the Coliseum and had another chance to meet with head coach Lane Kiffin, associate head coach John Baxter and the rest of the staff.