2010 Countdown: #52 Brandin Hawthorne

2010 Countdown: #52 Brandin Hawthorne

July 13, 2010

Name: Brandin Hawthorne
Height: 6′
Weight: 202 lbs.
High school: Pahokee High School in Pahokee, FL
Position: Safety
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #7
Last year: I ranked him #53 and said he’d redshirt. Hawthorne played special teams in four games but didn’t accrue any statistics.

Hawthorne, a sophomore safety, should have redshirted in 2009. He didn’t see any game action after September, having only participated on special teams coverage units in the first four games. Perhaps Hawthorne suffered an undisclosed injury, but it seems odd to burn a kid’s redshirt only to run down the field a dozen times.

Hawthorne was a practice time backup SAM last year, but has since been converted to safety. When Vladimir Emilien tweaked his knee in the spring, Hawthorne moved from strong safety to free safety and backed up Cameron Gordon playing center field. I doubt that #7 will be playing free safety at any point this season, as I don’t think he has the speed to cover a deep portion of the field. He’s also a backup at strong safety and seems to be in no danger of winning a starting job this season. But I do expect him to run down the field maybe two dozen times this year. Maybe he’ll even make a tackle or two.

Prediction for 2010: Special teams coverage duty


  1. Comments: 21383
    Jul 13, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    At face value, the handling of Hawthorne and Mike Jones last year doesn't make too much sense (as you've noted). Could it be that neither appears (to the staff) destined to make a significant impact and that they've been placed on the "Teric Jones" track? Speculate at your leisure. 🙂

    Great series, btw… I enjoy the analysis.

  2. Comments: 21383
    Jul 13, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    @ Anonymous 9:57 a.m.

    I do feel that Hawthorne and Jones might be on the "Teric Jones track." But whereas Teric Jones was being prepped for playing cornerback in case there were injuries to Woolfolk, Warren, Floyd, etc., there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the Mike Jones and Hawthorne redshirt burnings. They only played special teams, a role that surely could have been filled by somebody else on the roster.

    Fifth years of eligibility aren't guaranteed. It's the coaches' choice whether to award players a fifth year or not. While there was some benefit to playing Teric Jones, I see no benefit in playing the other two. Even if they're late bloomers now, the coaches will have no choice but to bid them farewell after 2012.

    On top of that, the coaches seemed to play Teric Jones in order to prevent Justin Turner from burning his redshirt. That doesn't seem to be the case with Mike Jones/Hawthorne, who prevented nobody from wasting a redshirt year except perhaps Isaiah Bell, a so-so recruit who hasn't generated much practice buzz at all.

    Thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you enjoy it.

  3. Comments: 21383
    Painter Smurf
    Jul 13, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    That's depressing about Jones and Hawthorne. I was hoping that they could at least challenge for PT. I can't get over how bad UM's LB recruiting has been…

    2007: Evans, Panter, Herron – All sleepers, none of them starter material.

    2008: Demens, Fitzgerald, Hill, Witherspoon – The last two guys did not make it through the first camp.

    2009: Bell, Hawthorne, Jones – All sleepers/projects. After a year in the program, apparently none of these guys will threaten a relatively weak two-deep and two of them burned red-shirts.

    2010: Rogers, Kinard, Ryan – one non-qualifier, and two more sleeper or project types. At least Ryan was a productive HS LB.

    In retrospect, maybe UM would have been better off over the years recruiting a few less athletic LB's who at least were productive at the LB position in high school (like Ryan). I have always assumed that LB's were easier to find/recruit than DL and DB, but maybe that's wrong?

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