"It was a close game. We had four turnovers. We should have put the game away, but Benjamin Russell came to play. They failed to realize how elevated I was going to take my game. They had some good players though. Michael Goggans did good on the defensive line. LaBronski Hutchins (Tide verbal commit) was very fast. He had some tackles for loss and a bunch of quarterback hurries," Hawthorne added.
There was a surprise guest at Friday night's game from a former Benjamin Russell star as Hawthorne shared, "I was walking up to the line of scrimmage and I pointed to the ref to signal I was on the line. I looked on Benjamin Russell's sideline and there I saw T.O. [Terrell Owens] standing there. I was shocked. We hiked the ball and I was still standing there looking at him. I had a 30-yard reception on that play. I tried to go up to him after the game, but he got out of there pretty quick."
In-home visits officially kicked-off Sunday night, and Hawthorne hosted his first slew of visitors from Auburn.
"Coach [Terry] Price my recruiting coach, coach [Greg] Knox my position coach, and coach Al Borges the offensive coordinator came to my house Sunday night," Hawthorne said. "They sat down with my parents and me. We asked a bunch of questions, talked about recruiting and talked about my season. They told me their expectations for me if I came to Auburn. They said they liked my physical body, and I would be ready to play in the SEC next year. They kept reminding me they were losing three senior receivers. Auburn is definitely one of the schools I am considering."
Scout.com's seventh-best receiver in the country is expecting more guests this week as well.
"Mississippi State is suppose to be here tomorrow (Tuesday) night," Hawthorne said. "Possibly coach Croom will be here at my house. Coach Steve Spurrier is planning to come to my house later this week. There are about 10 to 15 schools planning to watch me at the state championship Friday night."
"We waited too long to go to Florida," he said. "We are still in the play-offs and most of the flights were leaving on Friday morning. We'll just wait to speak with the coaches during the in-home visit, and I may take an official visit down there."
The visit to Louisville went really good," Hawthorne continued. "It was a lot better than I expected. The fans there love their football. I didn't realize how packed it gets up there. They are about to finish their indoor facility. It's very nice. I hung out with Peanut [Deantwan Whitehead], Eugene Sowell and Josh Hawkins. Josh told me he was going to commit before he told the coaches. Eugene didn't try to pressure me to come to Louisville at all. He was telling me I needed to find the best place for me."
"Louisville would definitely be a great situation for me. I would have early playing time, and they get you ready for the league. They are not afraid to put up some points. It wouldn't be bad to play in the Big East. They don't have as much prestige as the SEC, but the Big East champion still gets to play in a BCS game."
Eight schools will remain in the hunt for Hawthorne's signature as he stated, "I will have my top eight on December 3. I have a good feel of which schools are going to be on the list. I know both in-state schools are on there. The rest will be a mix of SEC, ACC and Big East schools."
A couple in-state stars have moved Auburn into their top spot after the Tigers defeated Alabama, but Hawthorne still has Alabama high on his list.
"I still feel very strongly about Alabama," he said. "It's a great situation for me to come into. If they get [Tim] Tebow that would be great."
Hawthorne is hoping to add his third state championship ring Friday night as Homewood takes on Buckhorn for the Class 5A state crown at 7pm. The four-star receiver is also hoping to add to his resume back-to-back seasons of 1,000 yards receiving. He is 79 yards away from the mark for his senior campaign.