Hawthorne attended East St. Louis High School, Class of 2009 where he played receiver, defensive back, punter and punt returner, and has been a starter since his sophomore year. On offense, he scored 28 touchdowns and recorded 1,009 receiving yards as a senior, while defensively, he recorded 118 tackles and eight interceptions, three returned for touchdowns. Regarded as four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Hawthorne was listed as the No. 6 wide receiver prospect of the class of 2009. Hawthorne is now a secondary coach for his high school (East St Louis High School). He is doing great things for his hometown community.