Hawkins battles through broken thumb

*Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) defensive back Chris Hawkins has to get the award for toughest player out West this summer. He broke the thumb on his right hand at an earlier camp but still competed at The Opening a few weeks ago and GridIron Kings this past weekend.

Chris Hawkins just had surgery on his thumb a week ago and had a soft cast that covered his entire hand and wrist. His original plan was to fly out for the tournament but just enjoy himself and not actually work out.

"I've never seen Florida before so I was coming out for a vacation," Hawkins said. "I talked to the organizers and they said I could still come and just watch since my ticket was already booked and that was my plan. Then Priest (Willis) went down and couldn't play and another DB didn't show up so my team needed me.

"I had to play for my team and the cast really wasn't that hard to play with. After the first game I got used to it and it wasn't hurting me at all. I was still batting down balls and going for picks with both hands so it really didn't affect me much. I really enjoyed being out here competing against the best of the best and I'm glad I played. I really think our team should have won this but it was still a great experience."

Hawkins committed early to USC and it would be tough to find anyone more devoted to the Trojans than the talented corner. Saying that, the athlete still wants to take his official visits.

"I'm 100% solid with USC, no doubt about that," Hawkins said. "I just want to see some schools and there are still coaches asking me to come. I don't want to ruin any relationships with anyone because I could have to deal with some of these coaches in the future.

"I don't have any dates but I want to visit Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon and Arizona State. USC will be my last visit and Coach Kiffin said he didn't care if I took trips because they all know no one can compete with what USC has to offer. I love the confidence they have and it translates to the field as well. USC is my No. 1, that school is everything to me."

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for Scout.com/FOXSportsNext.
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