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Ironton’s Hankins inks with Joliet jr. college

Before Kyle Hankins can go big time, he’s going to do a little work at the introductory level.

Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Before Kyle Hankins can go big time, he’s going to do a little work at the introductory level.

Hankins, the 6-foot-5, 293-pound senior tackle for the Ironton Fighting Tigers, signed Tuesday to play for Joliet (Illinois) Junior College, a two-year program that has sent numerous players to the next level.

Players who start at Joliet have an outstanding success rate of landing Division I and I-AA scholarships. Hankins said 92 percent of Joliet’s graduates get scholarships.

"Cincinnati and Tennessee both told me to send them a film of the first game I play in. They want me to keep in touch," said Hankins.

"I don’t know where I’ll go. That’s two years from now. I fell with my size and strength that I can dominate. I hope to play against Redgie (Arden) or with him."

Arden, Hankins Ironton teammate, has already signed with Ohio State. Hankins said he has talked with Ohio State about the possibility of playing for the Buckeyes after his Joliet career.

Hankins was recruited by Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Toledo, Tennessee, and Wisconsin among other schools, but he did not meet the grade point requirement necessary to play at the Division I level.

Playing at Joliet will give Hankins a second chance.

"I really like the school. I looked at several other places. I like New Mexico Military Institute, but Joliet was a nicer campus," said Hankins.

Hankins size and strength attracted him to Joliet head coach Bob MacDougal. Hankins can bench press 400 and can squat 725.

MacDougall is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame as the fifth winningest JUCO coach in the nation. He has never had a losing season. The Wolves were 9-1 last season.

"Coach MacDougall said that I’ll be one of his tackles going in because of my size and strength. I’ll be the second strongest bench press behind the fullback who benches 500," said Hankins.

But making it to Joliet has been a team effort for Hankins.

"Larry Browning has helped me in my training, the Walker family and Phil Staton, my dad and my grandparents have all helped me," said Hankins.

Hankins is the son of Tim Hankins and his grandparents are Earl and Jean Hankins of Ironton.

Hankins was an all-district player at Ironton and a two-year starter. Ironton was 20-6 the past two seasons including a Division IV state runner-up in 1999.

Joliet is the oldest junior college in the nation with an enrollment of more than 13,000 students.