“Let’s wait and see, but that Dolphin game speaks for itself.”
This time last year, a lot was going on in the life of Leonard Hankerson- on the football field at least.
His Miami Hurricanes had recently lost an overtime game to South Florida at home and subsequently fired their head coach, Randy Shannon, making way for the hiring of current Hurricanes coach Al Golden. The team also had a big Bowl game against Notre Dame to get ready for.
Yes, it was a busy few weeks at the end of a season where Hankerson (“#85”) would end up finishing as the record holder for most receiving yards and touchdowns for a single season in University of Miami history. His record setting 13 touchdowns in a season beat out Michael Irvin’s previous record of 11. His yards in a season record beat out Andre Johnson’s 1,092. Good company to be in if you ask me.
His bio on UM’s website even dubs Hank’s 2010 “arguably the best statistical season by a wide receiver in Miami history”.
Fast forward to 2011 and things are, in a word, different.
Instead of Bowl game practices and coaching changes after a record-breaking season, Hankerson finds himself stuck in long, boring days of rehab and video games after a frustrating rookie season in the NFL (OK so the video game part is probably the same as last year).
I caught up with the young Redskins receiver the other day to see how he was doing.
KE: What’s a typical day in the life of #85 been like since the injury?
LH: Very boring man! The only bright spot is actually going to rehab every morning from 8:00-9:45. Then I head home and pretty much play ps3 and listen to music all day.
KE: How often do you have to go to rehab?
LH: Once a day, every day of the week.
KE: Have you ever had an injury like this before?
LH: I’ve never had an injury like this before at all. This is my first major injury. We all are sore and beat up throughout the season but this the first injury that has kept me out for awhile.
KE: How involved are you with team activities? Do you still go to all the meetings?
LH: I’m at the park everyday because that’s where I do my rehab, but other than rehab I haven’t been too involved.
KE: Have you picked up any new hobbies with the free time you’ve had (besides fantasy drafts in Madden!)?
LH: I haven’t really been doing much, or been able to, because I wasn’t walking too great and being on crutches is NO fun. So being in the house all day, something like ps3 is pretty much all I can do.
KE: If fully healthy you’re 100%, what percent would you say you’re at now?
LH: I’m not sure, but I can tell you one thing- I feel a whole lot better then I did a couple weeks ago.
KE: Have the doctors or any team officials told you how long it’s going to be before you can get out on the field again?
LH: We haven’t really gotten that far in the process yet. I’ll be heading back to the doc soon to make sure everything is healing well. Hopefully it won’t be too long.
KE: How frustrating was it to have gotten injured like this, when you did, right as you were breaking out on the field?
LH: Very frustrating! Going through everything I went through and putting in all the hard work I did to get to the point where I was starting- it sucks because I want to be out with my teammates in practice and in the games fighting and making plays. It’s no fun watching the game from the TV or from the stands.
KE: What can Redskins fans except from 85 next year?
LH: Let’s wait and see, but that Dolphin game speaks for itself.
KE: What, if any, positives do you think you’re going to be able to take from this injury and time off?
LH: It’s part of the game. You never know when it’s going to happen. That’s why we have to live in the moment and do everything it takes to be great- because you never know how long it (your career) is going to last. As in, now I know it can’t take me six weeks next year to dress and get on the field.
KE: Finally, anything else you want you fans and Redskins Nation to know about you during your recovery?
LH: Hail To The Redskins and I’ll see everyone next year in camp!
Be sure to follow Hankerson (@HankTime85) , Kevin (@TheRealKRE) and Ball Hogs Radio (@BallHogsRadio)