Land of 10 has embarked on a series of “Next Generation” articles, a project that aims to bring our readers greater insight into the class of 2017 signees. Land of 10 Iowa writers Scott Dochterman and Bobby La Gesse are hard at work visiting the Iowa incoming freshman class to show you more than 40-yard dash times and recruiting rankings. We recently talked with 3-star CB Matt Hankins, but before we bring you the full profile on the Marcus (Texas) High School star, here is a sneak peek at what you can expect.
FLOWER MOUND, Texas — Matt Hankins didn’t see the Michigan offer coming. His initial thought was surprise.
“I was shocked, really,” Hankins said. “But it felt good, to be honest, that another big school like Michigan saw potential in me.”
The Wolverines came around last October, trying to flip Hankins from the Hawkeyes. The opportunity to play for a national power will intrigue nearly any recruit, but Hankins stuck with Iowa, his sense of loyalty winning out over the chance to play for Jim Harbaugh.
“I had to stay true to my word,” Hankins said.
That’s not to say he didn’t think about flipping. The Marcus High School cornerback scheduled an official visit to Michigan for Oct. 22, but cancelled at the last minute.
He spent the month after getting the Michigan offer to weigh his options and talk to both coaching staffs.
“Matt did a good job,” said Hankins’ high school coach, Gerry Stanford, who now is at Texarkana. “Iowa and Coach (Kirk) Ferentz did a great job of staying on Matt and giving him the positives of Iowa, and Matt kept a clear conscience on what is right and what is wrong.
“I think Matt made some adult decisions within that maybe some other kids couldn’t maybe handle those things being thrown at them.”
Hankins is a lanky 6-foot-1, 170-pound 3-star 247Sports composite prospect who excels in man coverage. Like the Hawkeyes, the Wolverines saw a potential playmaker in the secondary.
De-commitments from four other Texas recruits didn’t factor into Hankins’ decision. Iowa reminded Hankins why he liked the program in the first place. It was what Hankins needed to hear to re-affirm his pledge.
“I had already been to Iowa and I had liked the facilities, so it was really no point in going to see what anyone else had,” Hankins said.
— Matt Hankins (@Matt_Hankins1) February 1, 2017
The Hawkeyes and Hankins were upfront when discussing the Michigan offer. It’s a big reason Stanford believes Hankins is heading to Iowa this summer.
“To Coach Ferentz and his staff’s credit, they handled the situation well and were very honest with Matt when that happened,” Stanford said. “Matt ended up with over 40 offers throughout. He never wavered too much. For him to stick with what he did was best for him and his family.”
Many schools approached Hankins after his Iowa commitment. Arizona State and Baylor made plays for him. But interest from a college football blue blood such as Michigan is different than a call from the Sun Devils or Bears.
The Wolverines got Hankins’ attention. Iowa kept it — and it paid off before he set foot on campus. Hankins’ official visit came during Iowa’s upset of Michigan in November.
“I stormed the field with the other recruits after the game,” Hankins said. “It was a wild celebration.”
For the complete Iowa NextGen series, click this link.