Calif. DB Chris Hawkins gushes about Stanford

Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) star Chris Hawkins is one of the best defensive backs in a deep year for the position on the West Coast. Hawkins' offer list has hit the double-digit mark and is national, but home-state Stanford is a leading suitor.

Chris Hawkins was offered by Stanford earlier this month, and the Cardinal scholarship offer made a profound impact.

"They offered me I think about two, three weeks ago and my first thoughts were like, I was very surprised," Hawkins said. "I just got on my hands and knees and prayed thank you to God. I thanked my grandfather because he passed away my sophomore year, and I thanked him for letting me be able to do all of this. All my hard work is paying off. I was just very blessed."

Hawkins said that Stanford offer was meaningful because it helped validate his performance both in the classroom and on the football field.

"The academics and knowing that my grades are good enough to get a scholarship from them and that they're even considering me because they're not just an academic school, they're also a powerhouse in football," Hawkins said, listing reasons he was honored by the offer. "They've been in the Top 10 the past two years, so it was great."

Last weekend, Hawkins visited California and Stanford with his parents. He stopped by Berkley for Cal's Junior Day on Saturday before seeing The Farm on Sunday.

"The Berkley campus was tremendous and very big," Hawkins said of his trip to Cal. "I saw their library and I loved their football facilities. They have one of the best football facilities and weight rooms in America. … I think [defensive backs coach Ashley] Ambrose is a great coach and he's really interested in me. He's shown me a lot of interest. The whole day we were talking about their coverages and he told me what he likes about me."

At Stanford, Hawkins toured the campus and met with several coaches and administrators.

"I got there at 9:30 and I had an admissions meeting with Coach Anderson. At 10, I went to the sports medicine facility," Hawkins said. "It was tremendous down there, it was very fun. At 10:30, I went to the Stanford Stadium. They took me to the press box and let me go down to the field and let me run, do whatever I wanted on it.

"And then I had a campus tour at 11. Then we had lunch with Coach Anderson, the athletic director, and with Coach Mason also. Then, at 12:30, we went to the weight room and I had an hour meeting with Coach Turley about weights, lifting weights and how to lift weights. Then I went to the locker room and saw the NIKE Pro Combat jerseys. I saw Andrew Luck's locker. I saw all the cleats they get. It was very fun.

"Then they took me to the baseball game also. It was fun out there, I saw Coach Shaw throw the first pitch. Then I had a defensive back meeting with Coach Mason and a freshman, and we went over film of their loss to Oklahoma State. That was my day."

Meeting with Mason, Anderson, and the rest of Stanford's coaching staff was among the visit's highlights for Hawkins.

"Oh, I loved all the coaches," Hawkins said, "every coach I met. I met the defensive line coach, it was just tremendous to meet all of those coaches and know how interested they were in me. I also met the defensive coordinator for the 49ers. He was in the office. I was very impressed with what they had to say about me. It swept me off of my feet.

Hawkins was also impressed by the aesthetics of Stanford's campus.

"I just want to say that the Stanford campus is the best campus I've ever seen, out of all the colleges I've been to," Hawkins said.

Earlier in the recruiting process, Hawkins had expressed interest in graduating high school and enrolling in college early. However, he's recently reconsidered that plan.

"I think I'm just going to slow it down," Hawkins said. "I don't think I'm going to enroll early anymore, because if I do plan to attend Stanford, they don't allow early admits. Graduating at the regular time gives me more time to pick a school I want to go to."

Similarly, Hawkins, who's being recruited as a pure cornerback, has backed off earlier plans to announce a decision in mid-August.

"We had a date for Aug. 15, but we might not go all the way through with that because of the trips," he said. "I don't want to seem like I want a lot of attention and commit but still take trips so we might just make it on signing day."

In addition to Cal and Stanford, Hawkins visited USC earlier this month and was at UCLA's Junior Day this weekend. Although he doesn't claim a leader, Hawkins does have a tentative list of favorites: "Stanford, Michigan, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Cal, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Washington, Boise State [and] Arizona."

Hawkins said that he has a 3.5 GPA, but that he earned a 3.71 in his last academic term.

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