Another Hawkeye All-American Declares for the NFL Draft
And now, after Dane Belton and Jack Koerner decided they'd pursue a pro career, Matt Hankins will be the third Hawkeye to depart from what was an elite secondary in 2021.
The Lewisville, Texas native earned a spot on the AFCA All-American second team for his play last season, where he totaled 44 tackles over ten games and hauled in three interceptions along with five pass breakups.
According to the Hawkeye Athletics Website, "Hankins also earned second-team All-America honors by the Walter Camp Foundation. He was named second-team All-Big Ten by league coaches and media, and the Associated Press."
Over the games he played in prior to the shoulder injury that ended his season, he was "named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week, the Rose Bowl Game Big Ten Conference Player of the Week, the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, and the Thorpe Award Player of the Week following Iowa’s 23-20 win over No. 4 Penn State."
From 2018 to 2021, he started 37-straight games in the Iowa secondary.
When Hankins came to Iowa City in 2017, he chose the Hawkeyes over schools like Michigan, Colorado, Houston, Duke, and Texas Tech.
The website Stayaliveinpower5.com quoted Coach Kirk Ferentz saying that he was not surprised at all by Hankins success in 2021:
I think it’s been a great story and he’s kind of the typical guy that we deal with, he wasn’t overly heavily recruited, yet he’s improved every step of the way and he’s played at a high level this year and then last year as well. So I’m happy to see a guy that works as hard as Matt be rewarded with that kind of recognition.