August 23, 2008

New offense, new beginning for Hawthorne

One phone call changed Tim Hawthorne's entire Auburn experience.

The call came from Troy receiver Cornelius Williams last December just a couple of weeks after Auburn's sixth straight win over Alabama. Offensive coordinator Al Borges had just been let go and Williams passed along some shocking news to Hawthorne.

Auburn was about to hire Troy offensive coordinator Tony Franklin and bring his spread offense to the Plains.

"I didn't believe it," said Hawthorne. "I thought it was a joke. I wasn't happy at that particular time with what was going on here offensively.

"I just knew what type of offense Troy was running because of my buddy down there. He played the same position in that offense. I knew they put up a whole bunch of points. I was excited when they said he was hired."

Hawthorne, who was one of the state's most highly recruited prospects in 2006, had managed just four receptions last season after redshirting his first year.

AU's methodical offense was starting to take a toll on Hawthorne, who even considered transferring.

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