UM Gives Hankins A Lot to Think About

When the Michigan coaching staff began putting the full-court press on Detroit Southeastern DT Johnathan Hankins earlier this week, it was clear that they trailed his other suitors in the race for his services. The Maize & Blue began its climb by extending an offer. Now it appears that they may have reached the summit after his impressive official visit this past weekend.

Johnathan Hankins Profile

"(The visit) went real good," exclaimed the normally reserved Hankins.  "It was great! It was better than I expected.  I got there Friday night, we ate, and then we went with the hosts.  My host was Thomas Gordon.  Me and Thomas played PAL (i.e. the Detroit Police Athletic League) together.  I knew him basically all of my life.  I was chilling with Thomas, Will, and Teric playing football.  I was whooping them in all of the games and stuff, and then we went out and chilled."

"The coaching staff was really on me.," he continued.  "They're really in need of a D-tackle.  They really ain't looking at too many other than me.  It was great because I knew most of the players there.  I knew Thomas Gordon, William Campbell, Teric Jones… they showed me a good time.  And the facilities were just great because they've got that new indoor facility and the weight room got even bigger… they extended that out.  Just overall it was great because I brought my mom and my dad and they were really excited."

Hankins' parents... and particularly his father... needed to be sold as much as the young man himself.  If making a strong positive impression was the goal for the Michigan coaching staff, they did that and then some.

"They liked the way the coaches act, the way they talked, the way they really wanted me, and how cool we are (with them)," said Hankins of his parents' feelings about Michigan.  They impressed my dad.   They really did.  They got him (laughing).  My dad… I know he is a Michigan fan.  He probably won't really say it, but I know he is a true Michigan fan.  And my mom, for it to be her first time visiting something like that… it kind of shocked and surprised her. It being only 20 minutes down the road from home… you can't really beat that.  It was nice for them with their first time visiting a big school like that."

Most important important on the visit, however, was the rapport that Hankins built with the players and coaches. Those relationships will be key components in his decision making process.  Almost every interaction the Detroit native had seemed to enhance the feeling of being at home.

"(Thomas Will, and Teric) were saying it aint nothing like playing for Michigan, and plus it's right down the street from your house and everybody can come visit you," the 6-2, 300-pounder recalled.  "It just felt really good because I'm cool with them and the way they feel right now could be the way I feel close to home playing… so it was great."

"I met Mike Martin and my dad met him," continued Hankins.  "It was kind of funny because my dad didn't expect for him to be that big or look the way he looked.  He was huge!  We talked for a while.  It was just special.  They all want me to come down."

"I talked to the defensive coordinator and he said they need beasts, and I'm their guy.  They said it would be really good to have three players from Michigan on the d-line.  That'd be incredible."

"Coach Rodriguez said they never stopped talking about me.  From what I saw on the board, all of the paperwork they had on me, I see what they were looking at. It's up to me right now to go where I want to go.  It'll probably be a surprise."

While it's clear that the Wolverines significantly bolstered their chances of landing Hankins, he stopped short of offering a commitment.  Before arriving at any decision he plans to talk things over with those closest to him.

"I'll talk to my mom and my dad about it," he said.  "My coaches always wanted me to take all of my visits.  I'm going to take all of my visits and see how everything goes.  I think after Ohio State that should be it.  I think I'm getting kind of close to my decision."

Hankins reiterated that no decision has been reached and that Florida and Ohio State are still very strong on his list.  That said, there was an exchange with a current Wolverine during his time in Ann Arbor that could loom large when his decision date finally arrives.

"One thing that convinced me to probably go there was William Campbell said one thing he couldn't leave was his nieces and nephews.  I've got a lot of those nieces and nephews. I know they would like to come see me play.  That kind of hit me."

Now the waiting game begins.  Hankins' previously mentioned timeline for reaching a decision was "before Christmas:.  Could it come even sooner than planned, i.e. before his planned Ohio State trip?

"It could," Hankins said laughingly. "I'm not for sure right now."

GoBlueWolverine will have more on Hankins in the coming days.

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