The Washington Post

Clinton Christian’s Byron Hawkins chooses Towson

Byron Hawkins, one of the top guards in the area’s class of 2014, orally committed to play for Towson last week, choosing the Tigers over offers from schools such as George Mason, George Washington, and St. Joseph’s.

“I went there on my visit and it just felt very family-oriented,” Hawkins said. “I like the other coaches, the students I met, the players on the team…I just enjoyed how they treated me like family, from the moment they started recruiting me.”

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Hawkins said Towson expressed interest as early as his sophomore year and offered him that summer, and that their loyalty played a big part in his decision.

Towson also fit geographically, close enough for his Maryland-based family to attend most of his home games.

“My mom was talking about [how close it is], and I think it’s good that she’ll be able to drive to the games, my dad will be able to come to the games, friends,” Hawkins said. “My mom is at pretty much every game I play in.”

When they come to see him play, they’ll find their seats in the Tigers’ new $62 million, 5,200-seat arena, which opened in August, and was another selling point for Hawkins.

“[The arena] is a real big thing: they’ve got the best arena in the conference now, in the league,” Hawkins said. “I love playing in new arenas, nice gyms, big arenas. That was a very attractive thing for me.”

Hawkins will find a familiar face in the Tigers’ back court in DC Assault AAU teammate and St. John’s guard Mike Morsell, who committed a few weeks before him. He’ll also reunite with one of his coaches from the Assault, Bruce Shingler, who is now on the Towson staff.

It’s good Hawkins can now be referred to as “Towson-bound,” because it’s tough to say exactly which epithet best describes the well-traveled guard, for whom his college commitment was just one of several school-related decisions over the past few months.

Hawkins played the past two seasons at Good Counsel where he averaged 18 points per game in 29 games last season. The 6-foot guard played his freshman season at Friendly, from which he transferred to Good Counsel after making a run to the 3A state final with the Patriots in 2011.

When he learned Good Counsel Coach Blair Mills would not be returning to lead the Falcons for the 2013 season, Hawkins announced his intentions to transfer to Vermont Academy to reclassify in the class of 2015 and play out his high school career.

But Vermont coach Jesse Bopp left for VCU and Hawkins’s Vermont-bound DC Assault teammate Hassan Hussein could no longer attend the school, Hawkins reneged, opting instead to transfer to Wise in late August.

At the last minute, however, Hawkins again shifted courses. He recently enrolled at Clinton Christian in Upper Marlboro, which plays its basketball in the MISAL.

After all that chaos, Hawkins said his commitment provides a much-needed sense of stability.

“It’s definitely a huge weight off my shoulders,” he said.

NUMBER CRUNCH: 9.2

That’s the average number of points by which Prince George’s County 4A football teams outscored their 3A/2A/1A opponents over the course of six inter-classification matchups in last weekend’s season openers. The outcomes of those matchups were more evenly matched: 4A teams won three games (No. 5 Wise, No. 17 Suitland, and High Point), and so did 3A/2A/1A teams (Friendly, Gwynn Park, and Surrattsville).

BREAKFAST LINKS:

— Plan your weekend with our gridiron games to watch this weekend, including Forest Park-Stonewall Jackson, Arundel-Old Mill and Seneca Valley-Rockville.

— South County field hockey goalie Catherine Matuszko stood tall in the fifth-ranked Stallions’ 2-1 win at Oakton.

— A Quince Orchard player drawing comparisons to RGIII?

— Is this the year Freedom-Woodbrige finally challenges Battlefield?

— Landon boys’ soccer knocked off top ranked DeMatha to earn a spot in this week’s Top 10.

— Twin sisters Allie and Brittany Orr are in synch for Arundel volleyball. See where they landed in this week’s rankings here.

PHOTOS OF THE DAY:

Check out this gallery from Wednesday’s South County-Oakton field hockey clash.

VIDEO OF THE DAY:

McNamara lineman Damian Prince still inspired by late grandfather.

Bishop McNamara's lineman dominates the trenches in memory of his grandfather. (Nathan Bickell for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

Chelsea Janes covers the Nationals for The Washington Post.
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