Hawthorne's eyes opened by Missouri visit

Just because someone is committed elsewhere, doesn't mean a man can't keep his options open. This is the case for East St. Louis wide receiver Terry Hawthorne. Hawthorne, an early pledge to Illinois, took an official visit to Missouri this past weekend. Did the visit help Missouri's cause? Is Hawthorne still committed? For these answers and more go inside for the latest on his recruitment.

Just because someone is committed elsewhere, doesn't mean a man can't keep his options open.

This is the case for East St. Louis wide receiver Terry Hawthorne.

Hawthorne, an early pledge to Illinois, took an official visit to Columbia Missouri this past weekend and apparently the Tigers raised their stock with the talented wide out.

"It was good, I liked it a lot there," Hawthorne told InsideMizzou.com Sunday afternoon. "This trip opened my eyes a lot towards Missouri. I will make my decision on signing day on where I will be attending school next fall."

Is Hawthorne still committed to Illinois?

"Yeah right now I am," Hawthorne said. "I would say that my commitment is a soft verbal or at least something like that."

Hawthorne was impressed with how the players and coaches related to each other.

"They seem to be one big happy family," Hawthorne said. "They have an established winning program and they love to throw the ball a lot. Things that I'm interested in."

According to Hawthorne Columbia was just the right size for him.

"It's not too small but at the same time it's not too big," Hawthorne said. "They seem to have a great campus atmosphere and there seems to be a lot of things to do."

Hawthorne, who is listed at 6-foot-1, 180-pounds and who runs a 4.48 forty, realizes that he would have the opportunity to make an early impact at Missouri.

"Coach (Gary) Pinkel told me if I wanted to play early that all I would have to do is to show him I'm ready to play," Hawthorne said. "Coach Pinkel seems to be a good guy and a great coach, someone fun to be around."

Is there a chance football fans around the country could be surprised on National Day by Hawthorne's final decision?

"I would say that there is a chance that everyone could be surprised," Hawthorne laughed. "Missouri definitely opened my eyes this weekend, I had a great visit."


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