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November 5, 2012
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. -- Whether it's a high school game, a 7-on-7 tournament, the U.S. Army All-American Bowl or a pickup game in the backyard, Chris Hawkins is going to compete.
The four-star cornerback from Rancho Cucamonga has built a reputation on always getting after it and that's one big reason why he's been so successful on the high school stage.
That mentality will not change when he plays in the Army game this January. Even though Hawkins is one of the top cornerbacks in the 2013 class and firmly committed to USC, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound prospect doesn't plan to mess around once he gets to San Antonio.
Goals have been set and Hawkins expects to accomplish them.
Hawkins and Rancho Cucamonga teammate Tahaan Goodman, a four-star safety, were presented with their Army game jerseys at their high school on Monday, one step closer to getting after it in the Alamodome.
"It's a big thing because this was always my goal going into high school," Hawkins said. "When I saw DeSean Jackson, when I saw the Black Mamba (De'Anthony Thomas) play in it, it was always my dream to get there and get this recognition like Tahaan and I did today.
"I definitely want us to win. I don't want to go down there just for the fun of it before I go to college. I want to go down there to compete. I want to start when the game begins and I want the West to come out with the victory."
After returning from South Bend, the Irish became serious contenders but distance and his affinity for USC was too much and Hawkins has basically shut down the recruiting process. No more visits are expected.
He's sticking with USC.
That means Hawkins turns to recruiting other top prospects -- Goodman being one of them -- especially since four-star safety Max Redfield from Mission Viejo, Calif., de-committed from the Trojans on Sunday night.
"Recently, one spot just got reopened so I'll do some recruiting (in San Antonio)," Hawkins said. "I do recruiting every day right here (going after Goodman) and fill that safety spot with another safety. I feel like Tahaan is down to be a Trojan. I'll talk to him some more and see if we can get him on board."
By USC standards, the Trojans have disappointed this season with three losses, two in a row with defeats to Arizona and Stanford, especially since they were considered national title contenders in the preseason.
That only motivates Hawkins to stand firm with his USC pledge and be a part of righting the ship in the coming years.
"As a recruit right now I just want to shut the critics up," Hawkins said. "They're talking bad about USC right now that we have three losses. There are a lot of mistakes and penalties.
"I want to get there, get in the weight room, be able to play when I'm a freshman and I want to get it right with USC. I want us back to where we were when Reggie Bush and those guys were there."