June 9, 2009

Hankins has Bucks No. 1

Knowing defensive linemen could perhaps be the most important members of any recruiting class, Ohio State has made a big effort in order to reach out to recruits at that specific position.

One of the bigger-named recruits Ohio State has offered is Detroit (Mich.) Southeastern defensive end William Gholston, but the Buckeyes didn't have to stray too far from Gholston to find a stud defensive tackle.

Two weeks ago the Buckeyes offered one of the most coveted defensive tackles in the country when they offered an official scholarship Gholston's teammate. 6-foot-3, 310-pound Johnathon Hankins.

The offer for Hankins joins an already solid list of offers from schools such as Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Toledo, and Bowling Green.

"Everything is going really good for me," Hankins said. "It means a lot (to have the offers) because there are a lot of people that I think are really good don't have these kind of offers. For me to have them is such a blessing."

Despite already having some exciting offers, Hankins said he was particularly enthused about getting one from the Buckeyes.

"They came and saw my film and I guess they liked it at the spot so they offered me," Hankins said of Ohio State. "When they came and saw the players one of the Ohio State defensive coaches came down to see me and talked to me about a new defensive scheme that I would fit perfectly in.

"I have been waiting for Ohio State to offer me," Hankins said, "but now that I have heard from them I am really, really interested in them."

The coach Hankins has built a relationship with is Ohio State safeties coach Paul Haynes, and the defensive tackle said he is going to keep in close contact with him.

"I just emailed him yesterday and I have been talking to him," Hankins said of Haynes. "We have a good relationship. We don't really have much to discuss because we have talked about so much. Right now when I talk to him we just talk about life and stuff.

"He told me if I was to come to their school I would have a chance of starting," Hankins added. "If I get there, do what I have to do, and work hard I would have a chance to start."

Hankins has already been at Ohio State for a NIKE camp last summer and remembers quite a bit about the campus and the facilities.

"I was there for a camp and we were in the indoor facility," Hankins said, "and that was pretty huge and big. As we went on with the camp we went outside and they have a nice field and nice grass."

Even so, Hankins said he is planning on taking another visit to Columbus to get a full idea of what it is like at Ohio State. In fact, Hankins said he was going to take an official visit to Ohio State.

"They are supposed to tell me when I can come there on my official visit," Hankins said. "I could go down for a game and check them out."

Hankins admitted that he would like to play his college ball with Gholston and Ohio State is a school that both are considering.

"We talk about playing together at the next level a lot," Hankins said. "Ohio State runs the defense that we run right now in our high school. For us both to go there, that would be huge. We are really close.

"We talk about recruiting, but right now we are starting to focus on the season," Hankins added. "There have been so many schools and coaches that have come to see us. It is pretty wild."

Right now, Hankins' interest in Ohio State is "really high."

"I was thinking about committing," Hankins said. "But then I decided to wait and see what other schools come in. They are pretty high though. They are No. 1. I would say there are at the top of my list."

Hankins had weighed in at an upwards of almost 330 pounds at one point, but the defensive tackle has been working on his weight and is now down to around 310 pounds.

"My goal is to get down to 295-300 by the time my season starts," Hankins said. "I heard it a little but from the coaches but I am losing it for myself. They say my weight at 300 would be good, but I would like to get down to 295-300."

Hankins understands the value of his position and is confident he can provide schools the service the service so many programs are dying to add to their squad.

"My position is important and that's where you start your defense from, the front," Hankins said. "I am like one of those guys that you can build a defense around."

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