Player Profile #68 – WR Leonard Hankerson

Miami WR Leonard Hankerson II never knew his father; Leonard Sr. was murdered on the streets of south Florida about a month before his son arrived in the world. All through the last 23 years, Leonard II has sought the help of male authority figures.

For a wide receiver, there’s no better place to find that help than south Florida. His position coach in high school was former NFL receiver Cris Carter. Before his junior year in high school he started working with former Dolphins WR Mark Duper to polish his route running and become a well-rounded player. “Mark Duper just told me to stay focused and keep doing what I’m doing,” Hankerson said.

He did it well enough that he left the Miami Hurricanes program with just about every receiving standard in the record book. Now, he’s preparing to take his game to the next level.

Here’s his story.

FAMILY MATTERS

Leonard Hankerson II

Born – May 7, 1988 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Family – His father Leonard Hankerson Sr. was killed in 1988, when he was shot to death by someone who wanted to sell him crack cocaine on his street in south Florida. His son was born about a month later. Leonard II has two children of his own – 4-year old Leonard III and 2-year old daughter Kienarria. He’s been in a relationship with Marketria Smith, the mother of his children, since high school.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 6-feet, 1½ inches.
  • Weight – 209 pounds.
  • Arm – 32¼ inches.
  • Hand – 10½ inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.4 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.53 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.51 seconds.
  • Bench press – 14 repetitions at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 36 inches.
  • Broad jump – 9-feet, 9 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL

Hankerson was part of the graduating class of 2007 at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He played for coach George Smith.

The Miami Herald selected Hankerson as the Class 6A-4A Broward County Male Athlete of the Year in 2007. In his senior season, he was named all-State first-team and All-Broward County first team.

He also played basketball and ran track for the Raiders.

FOOTBALL

2006 – He caught 39 passes for 799 yards and 14 TDs. His best game came in the state playoffs against Coconut Creek when he caught 3 passes for 123 yards and 2 TDs. STA finished the season 12-2, and lost the 5A title game to Lakeland 45-42 in double-OT. In the championship game, Hankerson caught 6 passes for 80 yards and 1 TD.

2005 – Hankerson’s 31 receptions for 608 yards with 14 TDs made him an offensive force. The Raiders were 13-1 and lost to Lakeland 39-10 for the Florida 5A championship.

RECRUITING

When it came to the end of the recruiting process, Hankerson was choosing between three schools – Miami, Florida and Ohio State. He picked the Hurricanes in December 2006.

COLLEGE

Hankerson is scheduled to receive his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts next month at the University of Miami.

In 41 games for the Hurricanes and head coach Randy Shannon, he caught 134 passes for 2,160 yards and finished his time in Coral Gables with a streak of 26 straight games with a catch, dating back to September 2009.

He earned first-team All-ACC honors in his senior season, and was named the winner of the Jack Harding Award as the team’s MVP.

2010 – (Team captain) Hankerson re-wrote the Hurricanes record book with his 72 catches, 1,156 yards and 13 TD receptions. His yardage total was a school record, as he became just the third Miami receiver to top 1,000 yards in a season. Those 13 TDs set a new Miami record, breaking the previous mark of 11 set in 1986 by Michael Irvin. His best performance was 7 catches for 147 yards and 3 TDs. The Hurricanes went 8-5 on the season and lost to Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl.

2009 – As a junior, Hankerson broke into the Miami starting lineup, opening 12 of 13 games. He made a catch in all 13 games, finishing with 45 catches for 801 yards and 6 TDs. Against Duke, he caught 8 passes for 143 yards and a TD. Miami went 10-3 on the season and lost to Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl.

2008 – Season No. 2 with the Hurricanes saw him playing in 8 games with 2 starts. He caught 11 passes for 140 yards and two TDs. Miami was 7-6 on the year, losing to California in the Emerald Bowl.

2007 – As a true freshman, Hankerson played in seven games with two starts, catching six passes for 63 yards and one TD. Miami finished the season 5-7.

Year

G

S

Rec.

Yds.

Avg.

TD

LG

2010

13

11

72

1,156

16.1

13

79

2009

13

12

45

801

17.8

6

52

2008

8

2

11

140

12.7

2

41

2007

7

2

6

63

10.5

1

24

Totals

41

27

134

2,160

16.1

22

79

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – Athletic, good speed and decent quickness, Hankerson has big hands and long arms that allow him to combat press coverage. He’s outstanding in short, quick routes, where he can stop on a dime and turn up field in a snap. The improvement of his hands has been a big plus for Hankerson; early in his career he had the drops and his hands have become more secure. He’s got good enough speed to make something happen after the catch. He showed toughness in traffic and he’ll go high on the sideline to pull balls in. Hankerson can run the entire route tree.

Weaknesses – Does not come flying off the snap and it takes awhile to get up to full speed, something that’s going to hurt him in the NFL. His pass catching will always be a concern because he’s inconsistent, despite big hands. In the past it was a matter of concentration, as he was prone to turning to run before securing the ball. He’s a willing, but only an adequate blocker who needs to improve in that area if he’s going to help out in the NFL.

Intangibles – He is polished on some of the little things about the position that he learned from Carter and Duper. He has a good understanding of the passing game and the angles that allow him to get open and then make yards off the catch. Hankerson is a talented receiver, but he doesn’t quite rise to the level of other former Hurricanes catchers that have come into the league like Reggie Wayne, Michael Irvin and Andre Johnson.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

A scout from the AFC said – “Nice prospect that is kind of a smaller, poor man’s Andre Johnson. I’ve heard some people have compared him to Sidney Rice, but that’s a stretch; he doesn’t have Rice’s quickness. He’s a responsible kid, who is raising two children and hasn’t run away from that responsibility.”

An scout from the NFC said – “No diva, this kid. He’s got more talent than he’s shown, as he got caught in some changing offensive ways that seemed to be a yearly thing with Coach (Randy) Shannon.”

WHAT HE HAS TO SAY

“I barely hang out off the field. I just do what I’ve got to do here, take care of business, then go home and take care of business. If you want to do the right things, it’s not that hard. You come here, do your work, go to class, go home, take care of your kids, play with your kids, be there for your kids. It’s not hard at all.”

“This season I’ve gotten better blocking for the run game, being more physical and looking the ball in. It’s harder than you think when you’re trying to make a play for your team. Before I was like ‘Let’s make a big play’ Now I’m ‘just catch the ball and whatever happens, happens’.”

“It’s an honor being mentioned in the same category as Lamar Thomas, Reggie Wayne, Michael Irvin and Andre Johnson, it’s an honor just having my name up in the category with those guys … you want to carry on their traditions. It’s no pressure, you just got to go out and work hard, compete in the weight room and in practice, you just have to do what you have to do to make plays and help the team out.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS?

He’s a mature young man, who was voted team captain and he’s been durable and available. Hankerson is not a No. 1-type receiving talent; he’s not on the same level as an A.J. Green or Julio Jones. But at the position, he’s a solid second or third option.

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