Although Hankton is 35, he's a veteran of only 6 NFL seasons. In his relatively short time with Carolina, he's set the benchmark for Special Teams play, holding the Panthers' all time Special Teams Tackles record with 66.
The Re-signing of Hankton is important to a Special Teams unit that is in flux. Scotty O'Brien retired (then signed with the Dolphins a few days later) and former Special Teams Assistant Danny Crossman has been promoted to Special Teams Coach. Along with returning gunner and returner Rod Smart, Hankton will be a steady influence to what figures to be a young crop of Special Teams players.
Hankton graduated from Trinity College in Illinois with a degree in business management and serves as his own agent.
In other WR NewsThe Panthers have signed Javin Hunter, a 5-11, 190 lb receiver out of Notre Dame and Aaron Boone, a 6-2, 205 lb receiver out of Kentucky. Both will be allocated to NFL Europe.
Hunter was a 6th round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2002. He notched 12 games played with 3 starts in 2002, and caught 5 passes for 35 yards. He has spent the last 3 seasons with the Ravens. Hunter runs roughly a 4.47 40-yard-dash. His father, James Hunter, played CB for the Detroit Lions. Hunter was suspended for 4 games in 2002 for testing positive for Ephedrine, an herbal supplement that is not illegal, but banned by the NFL in July of 2002. Hunter is a fundamentally sound WR that could sneak on the team with a good preseason showing.
Boone was allocated to NFLE last season by the Chicago Bears and played for the Berlin Thunder. Boone played in 9 games, catching 13 passes for 221 yards and was among the league leaders with 4 touchdowns. Boone finished his career with Kentucky ranked third in receiving touchdowns with 16. Boone, who is Mormon, spent 2 years as a missionary in Peru. Originally signed by the Cowboys as an undrafted FA in 2003, was cut, then signed with the Bears.