Best Hurricanes Football Player (2011)

Leonard Hankerson

In any other season, on any other Canes team, on any other night, University of Miami star Leonard Hankerson would have left the locker-room doused in champagne last November 28. On the field at Sun Life Stadium that Saturday, the mammoth six-foot-three receiver with 200 pounds of sprinter-quick muscle scorched the University of South Florida for nine catches and 127 yards. No one on the Bulls could cover him. Hardly anyone in the country could all year, actually. With his season-ending haul against USF, Hankerson set a new UM record this year for touchdowns (passing some guy named Michael Irvin, who once had 13) and tied a 26-year-old mark for receptions. He might just have turned in the best single season ever by a Miami wideout. Too bad for Hankerson that the heroics came amid an epic Hurricanes implosion. In fact, the very night Hankerson rewrote the record book against USF, the boys in green and orange blew a last-minute shot at a field goal and eventually lost 23-20 to the Bulls. Instead of celebrating his feats after the game, Hankerson was left arguing why his coach, Randy Shannon, should keep his job. (Shannon was fired hours later.) Well, consider this your much-belated champagne bath, Leonard. Pop!


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