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Change of plans

As a cornerback, Chris Hawkins is used to making adjustments on the fly. But the All-Baseline League first-team defender likely never had to change direction as suddenly as he did this past weekend.

Just 24 hours before he was scheduled to announce his verbal commitment on Saturday -- likely to the Stanford Cardinal -- Hawkins' father, Armond, spoke with USC assistant coach Ed Orgeron. Hawkins said he was at track practice when he got the subsequent call from his father, saying that the USC coaches would like to see him in person later that day to offer him a scholarship. He wasted no time in packing up and getting on the road.

Hawkins grew up in a USC home, and his father hasn't minced words about his affinity for the Cardinal and Gold. Hawkins already had received roughly two dozen offers, including from some of the top representatives of academic and athletic excellence such as Stanford, California, UCLA, Notre Dame, Northwestern and Michigan. But USC remained the "dream offer." When it was extended during the visit, Hawkins made sure to take in every moment.