RH’s Hankins gets noticed and signed by KCU Knights

Published 2:16 am Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Rock Hill Redmen senior All-Ohio football standout Owen Hankins signed a letter-of-intent on Friday to play for the Kentucky Christian University Knights. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right, sister Lola Hankins, father David Hankins, Owen, mother Laura Hankins, sister Jolee Hankins and nephew Brodee Hankins; standing left to right, brother Logan Hankins, niece Brynlee Hankins and brother Jonah Hankins. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

By Jim Walker


PEDRO — Owen Hankins sees himself as a simple, common person with nothing flashy and somewhat unnoticed.

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That’s until it’s game time.

Owen Hankins

When the gun sounds, the Rock Hill Redmen senior football standout becomes very noticeable to opponents and that led to being noticed by several college programs.

“My life is pretty simple. I come to school, I work out, it’s the same routine over and over again. I just try to become better,” said Hankins with a laugh.

Hankins became better and noticed as he signed a letter-of-intent to play for the Kentucky Christian University Knights.

Hankins was named first team All-Ohio Valley Conference and All-Southeast District in Division 6. He capped that off by being named honorable mention All-Ohio.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Hankins led the Redmen with 472 yard rushing in 8 games. He also had 9 receptions for 63 yards and ld the team in scoring.

Besides his football success, he Rock Hill’s leading scorer in basketball and was just named honorable mention on the Division 3 All-Ohio basketball team.

Rock Hill head coach Mark Lutz noted Hankins work ethic and determination were key assists that made him a good player for the Redmen and will carry him through the next level.

“We as a coaching staff are happy for him,” said Lutz. “He was able to improve and get better each year.

“This past offseason, he really dedicated himself in the weight room and got stronger and it helped on the field.”

Hankins had several schools show interest but he narrowed his list to Kentucky Wesleyan College, Wooster College and Concord (W.Va.) University before settling on KCU.

“It’s close to home and I felt they would give me the best opportunity to play right away and their coaching staff is nice,” said Hankins.

“Their facilities are really nice. Everything about it said home to me. I felt it was the best choice for me and my family.”

A two-way play for Rock Hill including defensive end and linebacker on defense, Hankins said the KCU coaches did not guarantee him a starting position, but there is a possibility he could get on the field early at many different positions.

“They’re looking at me as a running back, but I feel I’m very versatile. I can play tight end, running back, I feel I can play about anything,” said Hankins.

Football was part of Hankins early childhood but he said it wasn’t his first love initially.

“Growing up, I was always a basketball guy first. But around my eighth grade year (football) came around. I thought this is amazing. The brotherhood you make is insane. People I played with I’ll remember my whole life. I won’t remember the wins and loses. I’ll remember the times we had,” said Hankins.

“Football has always been a big part of my life. I love it because you don’t have to have one good player. It takes a group of guys who have one goal. That’s why I love the sport. It’s amazing. That’s what my family has built into me and two old brothers watching them grow up and earn how to win, so I’m very competitive. It’s in me.”

Football isn’t the only thing that drew Hankins to Kentucky Christian. He likes the Christian atmosphere that goes with the college experience.

“Obviously,  I’m going to Kentucky Christian to become a better Christian. That’s a big part of my life. I’m truly blessed. I want to become a bigger man. I’m going there to play football and become a better person overall,” he said.

Hankins plans to major in sports management.