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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Leonard Hankerson Stars at Senior Bowl

If there was one player who stood out at the Senior Bowl in Mobile — aside from Christian Ponder who was named MVP of the game — it was wide receiver Leonard Hankerson. Hankerson emerged during his junior season at Miami, catching 45 passes for 801 yards and six touchdowns. He took his game to an even higher level his senior year, catching 72 passes for 1,156 yards and 13 touchdowns. He caught a touchdown in all but three games, including the bowl game loss to Notre Dame.

The success throughout the year carried over to the Senior Bowl in Mobile.

Hankerson reportedly impressed all week during practice, standing out amongst the wide receivers invited to participate in the game. His talent was evident during the actual game, as he led all receivers with five catches for 99 yards and a touchdown. The TD catch came on a comeback route near the goal line, and it was off a perfectly thrown pass from Ponder. No other receiver on Hankerson’s South team caught more than two passes while he was frequently targeted.

For anyone whose watched Hankerson play, this was nothing different from what he was doing all season. He was Jacory Harris’ favorite target during the beginning of the season, and he remained the team’s top receiver when Stephen Morris took over. Hankerson had games where he dominated the competition, such as his three touchdown performance against Clemson, and his 9 catch 127 yard game against South Florida. At 6’3″ and 205 lbs, the receiver has the body and skills to be a number one target. He likely played himself into the first round of the draft with his performance at the Senior Bowl.



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