Tim Hawthorne, the No. 31 player in the country out of Homewood, Ala. took an unofficial visit to Louisville this past weekend. The 6-foot-2, 199-pounder with 4.5-second speed was impressed by his visit with Bobby Petrino and company.
"It's been reported that it was an official visit, but it was actually an unofficial," he said. "I had a really good time and was very impressed with how they distribute the ball. I like the way their offense attacks because if you're a wide receiver going into that system, you're bound to get the ball at least three or four times a game. Coach Petrino is a genius on offense and gets the ball to his players. That's what really impressed me.
"On the trip, I also got to meet the coaches a little bit. I talked with coach Whitt and both Petrinos. They basically told me they'd love to have me up there and they think I could be a breakout receiver in the offense who could catch a lot of balls and rack up a lot of yards. They also said their program is on the rise and they are missing just a couple key components to get to a national championship and I'm one of those pieces."
What did Hawthorne think of Louisville's 41-17 victory over Syracuse?
"It was pretty good and the atmosphere there was good too," he said. "For them playing Syracuse, it was a little closer than I think the fans thought it would be. They really got into it though when Brian Brohm got hurt."
The visit seems to have improved the Cardinals chances of landing an official from the four-star prospect.
"I think the visit definitely moved them up even higher in my opinion as it's a great place," he said. "I wouldn't mind playing there and it's a great opportunity. I don't know who I plan to take officials to yet, but I plan to announce my top seven or eight on December 3rd.
"I don't think I'll be able to narrow it down any more than that. I just wish I could take more than five officials. That also means just because a team doesn't get one of my officials that I'm not considering them anymore as I'll get in-home visits and I already visited most of the schools last summer."
This Friday Hawthorne and the 14-0 Patriots take on 13-1 Buckhorn for the state championship.
"This is a big chance for us to do something we haven't done by repeating as champions and going undefeated for the season," he said. "It's a big game for us and for me as I'm still on pace for 1,000 yards receiving. I just need 83 more this game."