Tuesday, January 11, 2011

N.C. State kicker transferring to Minnesota

Chris Hawthorne, the place-kicker from Leesville Road High School who started one game for N.C. State last season, said Tuesday that he is transferring to Minnesota.

Under new coach Jerry Kill, the Gophers are seeking a replacement for Eric Ellestad, who was 11-for-17 on field goal attempts as a senior last season.

Minnesota offered a scholarship, and Hawthorne visited the school last week and was impressed with the school and the facilities.

“It’s something I’m excited about,” he said.

Because Hawthorne was a walk-on at N.C. State, he does not have to sit out a year to comply with NCAA transfer regulations. He hopes to make a good impression in spring practice and fall camp and earn the starting job immediately.

Last season, Hawthorne started against Wake Forest when senior Josh Czajkowski was out with a hamstring injury. He made his lone field goal attempt, a 25-yarder, and was 5-for-5 on extra point attempts.

He declined to discuss the reasons for his departure from N.C. State. Last week, N.C. State received a commitment from Wakefield High senior Niklas Sade, who is rated the No. 3 prospect in the nation by scout.com.

Hawthorne had played soccer for his entire life before trying out for a kicking position as a senior at Leesville Road. He was a quick study, and initially committed to walk on at Appalachian State before N.C. State offered him a chance to join the team.

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Good luck to Mr. Hawthorne!

Anonymous said...

Toby, get yourself a recruiting coordinator or find a personality.