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Beau Hankins working his way onto the field at Georgia Tech

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by Longestday, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Longestday

    Longestday Helluva Engineer Featured Member

    Jackson-Olin's Beau Hankins working his way onto the field at Georgia Tech

    Jackson-Olin's Beau Hankins working his way onto the field at Georgia Tech - al.com

    ATLANTA, Georgia -- Beau Hankins had a choice. He could spend his freshman football season in 2012 at Georgia Tech getting primary reps on special teams or he could redshirt.

    He opted for the latter.

    “I didn’t want to waste a year playing mostly on the kickoff team,” Hankins said. “I thought the best decision was to be redshirted.”

    Although he didn’t play in any games, the former Jackson-Olin Mustangs star became a standout linebacker on the Yellow Jackets’ scout team.

    “I learned a lot about other team’s defensive schemes,” Hankins quipped. “I can tell you a lot about Florida State’s defense.”

    Hankins also matured physically. He weighed 210 pounds at Jackson-Olin, but was up to 225 by last fall. That’s even after a bout with pneumonia that caused him to lose almost 30 pounds.

    He put the weight back on, but wasn’t as strong, fast or physical as he wanted.

    That won’t be the case when Georgia Tech opens fall camp. The 6-foot-1 Hankins has become a beast, weighing a solid 235 pounds. He figures to get plenty of playing time when in the Aug. 31 season opener against Elon.

    Hankins finished spring practice as the No. 2 weakside linebacker on the depth chart. Redshirt junior Quayshawn Nealy, regarded as one of the top linebackers in the Atlantic Coast Conference, is the only man in front of him.

    Hankins has had little difficulty adapting to the 4-3 defensive scheme brought in by new Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof. Hankins already was familiar with Roof, who was Auburn’s defensive coordinator from 2009-2011.

    “He recruited me when he was at Auburn and when he was at Central Florida for a few weeks,” Hankins said. “He also recruited me when he went to Penn State.

    “We had a relationship before he became our defensive coordinator. That played a big role in me being comfortable in his defense. That helped me with my confidence.”

    Hankins had a solid spring game, leading all linebackers in tackles with six and recovering a fumble.

    Former Jackson-Olin coach Terence Amos attended several of Georgia Tech’s spring workouts and liked what he saw of his former player.

    “I am not surprised by the success he’s had on the field,” said Amos, who’s now at head coach at Redan High in the Atlanta area. “I talked to his position coach and he gave Beau high marks during spring practice and the spring game. I was at the spring game and they called Beau’s name so many times I couldn’t count.

    Amos was happy to see Hankins take the next step in his career.

    “Beau is deserving of the success. He’s a blessed young man. He just needs to stay humble and stay hungry.”

    That has not been a problem for Hankins. Although he returned to Birmingham this week to celebrate the Fourth of July with his family and friends, he has spent most of the summer at Georgia Tech.

    “There’s no room for slacking off during the summer,” Hankins said. “I’ve been working on school and football. I’m trying to stay on top of things.”

    While he was redshirting, Hankins excelled academically, making the dean’s list for the fall semester with a 3.5 grade-point average. He narrowly missed making it again in the spring.

    “Making the dean’s list is a huge accomplishment for him, especially at a school as rigorous as Georgia Tech can be,” Amos said.

    Hankins, a business management major, said he takes pride in his grades and it helps him stay accountable.

    “Some guys are good on the field and not good in the classroom,” Hankins said. “I want to be known as a guy who’s good at school and good at football.”

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