South Jones football standout BJ Hawthorne signed his LOI with Southwest Community College on Friday morning inside the school’s Media Center. Hawthorne became the second Brave to sign a football scholarship since National Signing Day on Wednesday.
“Super excited,” said the South Jones senior. “It’s always been my dream to play at the next level.”
Hawthorne led the Braves in receptions and yards gained as a wide receiver the last two seasons. He was named to Sports601’s All-Area Team back in January.
The road hasn’t always been easy, said Hawthorne.
“It’s been a hard road,” Hawthorne added. “But my coaches, my family, and God got me through it.”
Hawthorne said his decision to sign with Southwest CC came down to the feeling of still being home.
"Southwest felt like home when I was there," said Hawthorne. "The coaches made me comfortable, and that felt at home to me. I felt like I was already a part of the team on my visits.
“I’m ready to play and suited up.”
Todd Breland, former Laurel head coach, who just completed his first season at South Jones in the same position, had the unique opportunity to coach for and against the Braves’ standout.
"It's been a lot of fun in the short time I've been here," said Breland. "He brings a tremendous personality to the building. He's always in a good mood and upbeat. His athleticism is off the charts. He's one of the fastest kids I've ever coached.
“He’s starting a journey that I believe won’t end for quite a while. He’s going to make a name for himself in that league, and we’re proud of him.”
“I’ve been here since pre-K,” said Hawthorne about his experience in Ellisville. “It has been some great years. I’ll miss it here.”