Injured Stampeders receiver on overcoming obstacles
Shortly after scoring his first professional touchdown, the Stampeders rookie receiver broke his hand on a blocking play. But, with his parents in the crowd and the adrenaline pumping through him, he managed to tough it out and finish the game.
“When your adrenaline gets going, you kind of forget about everything else going on around you,” Hawthorne said.
The injury has kept Hawthorne waiting on the sidelines since August, with no timetable for his return.
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But the native of Birmingham, Ala., still considers himself lucky.
In 2007, when he was playing college football for Auburn University, Hawthorne was in a single car crash that ended up killing one of his close friends.
“It’s something you definitely do not forget,” Hawthorne said. “Especially when you lose a loved one.”
The accident forced him to miss spring practice with his team, but he returned to the lineup before the start of the season.
Hawthorne transferred to the University of North Alabama for his senior season after graduating from Auburn with a degree in public administration. When his college career had ended, he took a job at Wells Fargo as a home preservation specialist.
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With his football career all but over, he decided to tryout for the Stampeders in Tampa Bay, Fla.
After catching the eye of Stampeders’ scouts, the team signed him to a contract on May 22. From then on, he has made quite the impression on his coaches due to his determination.
“His professional approach to the game is really what’s helped him accelerate and learn quicker than most guys,” receivers coach, Pete Costanza said.
Hopefully for the 24 year old, this is the lucky break he’s been waiting for.
Hawthorne did not play in the Stampeders final regular season game, this past Friday against the B.C. Lions, but hopes to be back on the field for the team’s upcoming playoff run.