Terry Hawthorne: Video Highlights for Former Illinois CB

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IApril 27, 2013

Terry Hawthorne: Video Highlights for Former Illinois CB

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    Cornerback Terry Hawthorne will enter the 2013 NFL draft with hopes of becoming the next Illinois defender to hear his name called at Radio City Music Hall.

    Following in the footsteps of former teammates Whitney Mercilus (first round, 2011) and Tavon Wilson (second round, 2012), Hawthorne is likely to make it three straight years with a member of the Illinois defense being drafted.  

    An athletic cornerback with NFL-ready size and tackling ability, Hawthorne is predicted to be a mid-to-late-round pick. 

    In the following slides, we'll present Hawthorne's top highlights from his collegiate career at Illinois. 

Tackling Ability vs. Ohio State, 2012

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    One of Hawthorne's most attractive attributes is his ability to tackle. While cornerback is rarely considered one of the better tackling positions, Hawthorne was arguably one of Illinois' top tacklers in 2012. 

    Against Ohio State last season, Hawthorne showed off that tackling ability.

    On the provided play, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller executes a throw-back screen to tight end Jake Stoneburner. Hawthorne, who isn't even in the original picture when the pass is completed, reacts quickly and blows up the play behind the line of scrimmage with a sure tackle. 

Interception at East-West Shrine Bowl

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    NFL scouts will love the way Hawthorne played the football on this sequence at the East-West Shrine Game

    The East team runs a wheel route with a tight end against Hawthorne. The quarterback delivers a well-thrown ball to the back pylon of the end zone, but watch the play Hawthorne makes to intercept the football. 

    For starters, he runs stride for stride with the receiver. Once he determines the ball is in the air, Hawthorne flips his hips and gets in position to pick off the pass. It's a perfectly executed sequence that shines a very positive light on Hawthorne's coverage abilities. 

Interception vs. Baylor, 2010

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    In the 2010 Texas Bowl, Hawthorne made an athletic interception against a quarterback you've likely heard of. 

    On the provided play, Baylor's Heisman winner Robert Griffin—who would go on to be the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft—winds up a first-quarter heave while under pressure. 

    The pass is underthrown, but it isn't poor. The Baylor receiver has a chance at making the catch, but Hawthorne goes up and makes the athletic pick.

Pick-Six vs. UCLA, 2011

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    Possibly the most important interception in Hawthorne's collegiate career helped turn around a bowl game for Illinois. 

    Down 7-3 to UCLA in the 2011 Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Hawthorne jumped a short route and returned the pick for a game-changing touchdown. 

    The score marked Hawthorne's second career interception return for a score. And it also gave Illinois a 10-7 lead, which it would hold the rest of the second half as Illinois won, 20-14. 

Pick-Six vs. Minnesota, 2009

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    Hawthorne put his name on the map with this interception during his freshman season. 

    In just his seventh collegiate game, Hawthorne once again jumped a short route and took the ensuing interception back 44 yards for his first career touchdown. It was also Hawthorne's first career interception. 

    The score put Illinois up 14-0 early in the first quarter. The Fighting Illini would go on to win, 35-32.