COLUMBUS — The guy they call “Big Hank” is taking a big, early jump to the next level.
All-Big Ten defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins announced Monday he will give up his senior season at Ohio State to make himself available for the 2013 NFL Draft.
“I will always be grateful for the family I have gained here at Ohio State,” Hankins said in a release issued through the school. “My three years have provided amazing experiences for me, and they are years I will never forget or take for granted.”
Hankins, who said he plans to return to finish his degree, appeared in 38 games the past three years and started every game the past two seasons. He was fourth on the team in tackles in 2011 with 67, including 11 for minus yardage. This season he was fifth in tackles with 55, including four tackles for loss.
“I have enjoyed coaching and getting to know Johnathan Hankins over the past year,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “His hard work on and off the field has given him an opportunity to move on to the next level.