Part two of our discussion with defensive tackle prospect Aeneas Hawkins. Big thanks to Aeneas for speaking to RLR.
After a weekend of thought, Hawkins decided to bump his commitment date from the scheduled May 10, to a date in the future not yet set. Though he realized it could be perceived as such afterwards, Hawkins said that the decision did not have any correlation to his Penn State visit, rather it's just something that came about naturally.
FOR ME TO MAYBE COMMIT SOMEWHERE AND THEN THAT BE A RASH DECISION AND THEN DE-COMMIT -- I WOULDN'T WANT TO DO THAT TO MYSELF, OR MORE IMPORTANTLY TO THOSE COACHES WHO POUR THEIR HEARTS OUT RECRUITING GUYS SO THEY CAN BUILD THEIR FUTURES AS WELL AS MINE.
"Really, it's something I had considered," Hawkins expressed. "When I commit, I want it to be 100%. I deal with some great coaches, they're all very interested in my development. For me to maybe commit somewhere and then that be a rash decision and then de-commit -- I wouldn't want to do that to myself, or more importantly to those coaches who pour their hearts out recruiting guys so they can build their futures as well as mine. So really, I had a conversation with my dad on the phone [Sunday] night. He was a former player, and he told me 'Look man, when you know, you know.' His words were that I have a lot of opportunities to be able to play at a lot of different places and I shouldn't be making decisions based on emotion, and there shouldn't be any doubt in my mind.
And that's not to say that I haven't fallen in love with a school or two, those will still be my leaders, and my leaders have not changed at this point, so I will continue to take visits and I will continue to make sure I'm in the right situation before I make any type of commitment."
Still, Penn State remains one of his leaders, and perhaps even more than that.
"Penn State was and is one of, if not my top school. I love that coaching staff, I love the players, I love the commits. That coaching staff, they roll the red carpet out. There aren't a whole lot of head coaches who would take the time to take me out to dinner and make sure I'm comfortable and do all these things for me. I'm very thankful for them, and they're still a school that's absolutely in the running."
Moving forward, Hawkins has visits to both USC and UCLA planned for his upcoming spring break (his uncle is currently working out in California, making it an easy and convenient trip). He's still recovering from surgery to repair a torn labrum, and though he's been cleared for all football activity, he's not sure yet if he will participate in any Rivals or Opening camps this summer. If anything, expect to hear his name on attendance lists at school-specific camps, which allow him to work out one-on-one for his potential future coaches.
As far as what Hawkins' recruitment will look like after he does announce a verbal commitment, it's still a bit too early to set anything in stone, but things will likely stay quiet for the Cincinnati-based tackle.
"The thing that I always believed is that when I commit, I want to be 100%. I don't want there to be any question when people look at my Twitter or people ask me questions, I don't want there to be any kind of discrepancies there. At the same time, I don't have a problem making sure the opportunity is best for me. The reason I pushed my May 10th date back is because I didn't want to be one of those kids that wasn't 100% comfortable and then continue to take visits. I don't want to be that guy, leading everybody on. I don't understand the point of that. I barely have enough time to go to football and do my schoolwork, I don't have time to fool all these different coaches and reporters, I have no interest in doing it. For me, when I commit somewhere, I don't know if I'll take official visits, I can't say for sure yes or no, but right now, I'd have to say no I wouldn't. Because when I'm ready, I'm ready."