Hawthorne's Father Says AU "Right Fit" for WR

Tim Hawthorne's father, Theo, talks about the recruiting process and his son's commitment to Auburn.

Homewood, Ala.--Tim Hawthorne's father, Theo, has been an instrumental figure in his Tim's recruitment the last month. From stories about his spending money to doing much of the talking with the media the last month, the elder Hawthorne has been in the news.

Because of that he's taken some heat from fans and even the media for the things he's said and done. After his son committed to Auburn, he took the opportunity to set the record straight on his actions and he says that everything he did in the recruiting process was done to benefit his son and nothing more.

"I know everybody talks about the resources we spent on recruiting, but there's no book I read on recruiting," he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I just did what was in my heart. We went to one school and he said ‘They're going to give me a scholarship so how about taking some of my money and give it to these kids so they'll have the opportunity to go.' That's what we did.

"When you talk about spending resources, we did things like that because that's what we wanted to do. When we went to camps we would always take kids that would never be exposed to that type of setting. He wanted them to go so they could have an inside look at what it was like. We haven't taken a vacation in three years, but we've had the best time of our life because we've incorporated these trips into vacations."

Hawthorne proudly wears his Auburn gear on Monday.

From giving money set aside for Tim's education to needy students from their church to taking Homewood teammates on visits to schools, the Hawthornes have been busy throughout the recruiting process. During that time they had a chance to meet and get to know many of the coaches of the colleges Tim was considering. Theo said that getting to know someone personally was something they needed and it happened at Auburn with Coach Tommy Tuberville.

"Tim has been in Tuberville's home," Hawthorne says. "He knows his mother. He knows his wife. He knows where he sleeps and where he eats and where he relaxes and where his office is. What I'm trying to say is when you look at things like that we didn't just look at a school from a stadium standpoint; we wanted to really know them.

"I wanted them to know where Tim stayed, what his habits were like, what he likes. Even the food he likes and didn't like. It gives them an opportunity to coach him effectively by developing likes and dislikes. Also from a standpoint of helping him in that position, if they know the recruit they're in a position to effectively coach him better. When you look at all those factors it was just a good fit for him."

The biggest way to get up close and personal with a coaching staff and football team comes on an official visit for a recruit. While that is the best time to spend with the team, Hawthorne says that getting as many visits as possible was something they wanted so Tim could have the best feel for what a school was really like.

"I wanted to make sure that Tim was extremely comfortable in all his settings, with all the schools that he seriously considered," Hawthorne says. "He told us at the beginning that he wanted to look at six schools and he identified those schools. From there I wanted to make sure he knew those schools. We went to those schools frequently, both officially and unofficially. It really helped him and made this job easier for him because when he got ready to make this decision it wasn't something he had to guess about."

In the end all the time and effort put into Hawthorne's recruiting was worth it, according to his father. After all it's a decision that only comes around once. For Theo Hawthorne it's a decision that was done the right way.

"It just made it easy for Tim," Hawthorne says. "He has made a decision based on information. I think that any recruit, if there's one thing I could tell them is to get as much information as they can about that school. Make sure that you're sure and you won't have to change and de-commit and go somewhere else. When Tim made his decision I knew in my heart that it was the right fit because he had the information. He will never be able to say ‘my dad made the decision for me.' That's what I like about the process."

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