Over the weekend Southern Miss basketball hosted a player believed to be at the top their recruiting board. Southwest Tennessee State (Memphis, TN) forward prospect Chris Hawkins took in an official visit to Southern Miss to get a closer look at the program.
The talented 6-foot-5, 230-pound power forward already held a Southern Miss offer before his visit and came away more impressed with the program than ever.
"My visit went really well," Hawkins said. "I enjoyed it a lot."
Southern Miss' famous hospitality and family atmosphere wasn't lost on Hawkins during his official visit.
"I can say that the one thing that impressed me the most was that there was a lot of hospitality," he said. "I felt loved and I felt needed."
Hawkins also brought his mother on the official visit and that sense of family could go a long way for head Coach Donnie Tyndall and his staff in landing this high priority recruit.
"I was impressed that they brought my mom down," he said. "She usually doesn't get out that much but she really enjoyed herself. I'm a big family person so that meant a lot."
Hawkins also came away impressed with the Southern Miss campus and the programs reputation on the academic side of things.
"I liked the campus," he said. "It's a really nice environment. I'm a student-athlete and the student comes first. I feel like I can go there and be successful off the court as well as on the court."
Hawkins also talked about his strong relationship with the Southern Miss coaching staff.
"I love this coaching staff," Hawkins said. "We were having a lot of fun. We were always laughing and talking and just getting to know each other. We were never rushed like you had to be here at this exact time."
According to Hawkins the staff has gone above and beyond with his recruiting. When asked what Southern Miss assistant was his primary recruiter it wasn't as easy of an answer as you may think.
"The whole staff has been on top of everything," he said. "That's what has made me feel like I'm important to them. They've made me feel like I'm needed, not just wanted.
All of their coaches have reached out as much as they can," he continued. "They've all contacted me as much as they're allowed."
There could be good reason for that. Southern Miss' top post players are both seniors this year and Tyndall and Crew will need to bring in some experience in the post and Hawkins seems to be just what they're looking for.
Hawkins intends to sign early but doesn't have a date set for announcing his decision.
"I do want to sign early," he said. "But, right now it could be anytime. I don't have a time table. It could be on the first singing day it could be in a couple of weeks."
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