The early-summer string of recruitment commitments in Conference USA continued today with the Rice Owls securing the pledge of two-star offensive lineman Walker Hankinson. Standing at 6’5”, 250 pounds, Hankinson drew scholarship offers from Rice, UTSA, SMU, and Yale. Hailing from Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio, Hankinson chose the Owls over his hometown university of UTSA. Hankinson, a top 300 prospect in the state of Texas, took to Twitter to announce his commitment.
The Owls were the first program to offer Hankinson and their faith in him was rewarded with an early commitment. While Hankinson has yet to receive any scholarship offers from Power Five programs, he did visit Baylor’s campus in April.
An active blocker with great reach and solid quickness, Hankinson played right tackle for the Alamo Heights Mules in 2016 and will likely continue to play at that position once he reaches college. While reported at just 250 pounds right now, Hankinson has the slender frame coaches look for when scouting for an athletic lineman that can carry up to 300 pounds of weight. Of course it will take a year or two of strength development for Hankinson to reach that weight but he does seem to have the skeletal make up to do so.
For such a large blocker Hankinson has great bend in his stance and does a great job of “dipping” into his set in pass protection to maintain leverage over his opponent. When blocking in Alamo Heights’ zone run scheme Hankinson is able to use his length to seal off defensive ends by getting his hands underneath the end’s shoulder pads to execute a hook block, providing a wide open lane for his running back to either jet straight up the field off of Hankinson’s block or to extend the play by bouncing out wide to stretch the field.
Hankinson is Rice’s sixth commitment to the class of 2018 and joins fellow San Antonian offensive lineman Ryan Booth of Churchill High School along the future offensive line. Both commitments can chose to either make their addition to the program official in the December early signing period or wait until National Signing Day on February 7th, 2018 to put ink to paper.