Incoming corner sees big Coug year in '12

JC CORNERBACK Brian Hawthorne, a record-breaking interceptor who accepted an invitation this spring to walk on at Washington State, says he is on track to wrap up his AA degree and be in Pullman for the rookie report day of July 31. The one-time Hawaii verbal commit is brimming with anticipation.

Asked about the expectations he has for himself and for the Cougars this fall, Hawthorne didn't hesitate.

"Greatness and domination," he told CF.C the other day in an interview conducted in part via Twitter direct messaging.

He is coming to WSU from Santa Monica College, where he picked off a record 14 passes over the past two seasons. What makes that achievement especially notable is that he was a receiver who didn't start playing corner until several games into his freshman year at SMC.

In May he was named SMC's student-athlete of the year for football. The honor was well earned on and off the field. In addition to taking a full course load at SMC he's also been taking a full slate of classes at the Art Institute Santa Monica. He wants to get into music production.

He will have three years to play two at WSU. His path to Pullman was unexpected, because he verbally committed last fall to Hawaii and then shut down his recruitment, turning down offers from Arizona State and others.

With the coaching change at Hawaii, however, Hawthorne's scholarship offer was no longer on the table.

"I felt betrayed," said Hawthorne, who is 5-10, 180 pounds and runs the 40 in 4.4. "But I won't be denied."

WSU assistant coach Paul Volero offered Hawthorne an opportunity in Pullman with the notion of a very real chance at earning a scholarship.

Hawthorne believes his game will translate well to the Pac-12.

"I'm physical," he said. "My feet are sweet, I can jump, run, and I love playin' the run."

While comfortable expressing his strengths, Hawthorne is a humble player who refuses to accept the title of a ball-hawk or playmaker.

"I'm a football player," said Hawthorne, who grew up in Compton but prepped at Carson High and then at Nathaniel Narbonne High in Harbor City, southwest of Los Angeles.

Although Hawthorne isn't in Pullman quite yet, he seems to have picked up on how Cougs bid adieu.

"See you when I get to Pullman," Hawthorne said. "Go Cougs."

For Hawthorne's video highlights, click here.

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