An enjoyable official visit to Notre Dame over the weekend didn't sway four-star cornerback Chris Hawkins (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) from his commitment to USC, but it has definitely created an unforeseen obstacle for the Trojans.
Armond Hawkins Sr., Chris' father, said his son was thoroughly wowed by the South Bend, Ind., campus, the pageantry at Notre Dame Stadium and the atmosphere following the Fighting Irish's thrilling 20-13 overtime victory against Stanford.
"It was super late (Sunday) night, and I had to be at work at 4:30 a.m. Chris came into the room and shook me up," Armond said. "He told me what was going on. We talked briefly and he was very excited. They wowed him and [fellow USC commit] Max Redfield out there. I didn't think that would happen."
The trip had such an impact on Chris that Armond wants to accompany his son to Notre Dame for an unofficial visit some time in the next few weeks. Armond said this coming weekend as well as Nov. 2 are possibilities since Rancho Cucamonga has games scheduled for Thursday night. Hawkins will take an official visit to Arizona State on Oct. 26 for the Sun Devils' game against UCLA.
"Chris doesn't want to talk about the trip to Notre Dame because he doesn't want USC fans to take it the wrong way, but he loved it up there," Armond said. "He's a Trojan, though. He was born a Trojan and raised a Trojan, but we want what's best for him. We have to look beyond our faith and belief in USC and its coaches. I'll give him a chance to calm down first and maybe by Wednesday we'll see if he's back to 'Fight On.' Kids go on these trips and immediately after they're very excited. But on a scale of 100, this trip was a 100."
Hawkins, who intends to be an early enrollee, is scheduled to take his official visit to USC on the weekend of Dec. 7. He had been on two trips before -- to Washington on Sept. 27 and Cal on Oct. 5 -- but Notre Dame might have unexpectedly entered the picture in his recruitment.
"Chris is a USC faithful. He's committed to USC but Notre Dame gave him a totally different vibe that the other trips hadn't," Armond said.