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Q&A with Leonard Hankerson

In case you missed today's Miami Herald, Joseph Goodman authored an intriguing story on Florida safety Major Wright and his decision not to go to Miami. I provided the quotes from UM receiver Leonard Hankerson, who has been friends with Major since the 10th grade.

I figured I'd share the rest of Sunday's interview I had with Hank, who hauled in UM's first passing touchdown of the season last week from Jacory Harris.

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Before I get to it though, a reminder for you to check out the audio interviews I've been uploading from yesterday. I've been swamped with work this week and haven't had a chance to compile a write up for you yet, but if you want to listen in on what was being said -- straight out of UM's players mouths and coach Randy Shannon for that matter -- visit our UM Audio Page. I'll have some videos up for you later this afternoon.

Q: How did you and Major meet? I heard you guys lived close to one another? Were you supposed to go to the same school together before you ended up at St. Thomas?
I've known Major since I was in the 10th grade. We both transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas after our freshman year. He moved down from Tallahassee. He lived a street away from me. We both were supposed to be going to Dillard.

We became friends right away. Since he lived right behind me, I would walk to his house in the mornings and catch a ride with him to school. Bobby Crawford used to come and pick us up and we'd right out together.

Q: How close were you guys? Did you hang out a lot?
A: We always hung out. There were sleepovers at each other's houses. We were always together. We'd go and play basketball. We really weren't into video games or things like that. It was always sports.

Q: What kinf of guy is Major off the field?
A: People don't know Major is a funny guy. He's a comedian. He's always joking and making people laugh. He's not going to crack on people, more jokes.

Q: Are you guys real close, like a brother?
A: Yes. I consider Major another brother to me. We always used to stay around each other. I've got 3 sisters and 2 brothers and Major had three sisters. We were always around each other.

Q: What was the neighborhood like where you guys grew up?
A: It was a tough neighborhood where we grew up. But we were able to survive because we knew what we wanted in life. We always knew playing football and doing the right things, doing your job could mean big things. As long as you stayed focused, the fights, the shooting, the robberies, all that, didn't even get into the picture.

Q: I know Major has a reputation for being a hitter. He ever lay you out? What's the most amazing hit you've seen him do.
A: He's never hit me before. Honest. There was one time in practice where he had a chance to, but he let up on me because we were friends. He's a good player, a hardworker. When he goes at full speed, he's an amazing hitter. There are so many hits that stand out to me. I remember my senior year we were playing our spring game. Major was in Cover 2. [First name?] Johnson came over the middle and Major just laid him out. It was the loudest bang I've ever heard on a football field. He did it again in a playoff game when they played Ely. He smacked this guy head on and just jarred the ball loose. He's a hitter.

Q: What kind of things would Major do for you as his friend? Was he good at giving advice? Did he hook you up with things?
A: I really didn't have a lot of money. In my house, we had eight people living with us in three bedrooms. Between my brothers and sisters and my godbrother, we struggled a lot. Major always used to spot me when I needed stuff. He would buy me lunch sometimes. He would pay for me to ride jet skis when we would go do that stuff. I remember one day, I was working up in Hollywood and I didn't have a ride to practice. Major drove all the way across town to get me. That's the kind of friend he is.

Q: Did you guys ever talk about going to college together?
A: We never talked about college stuff like that because we respected each other. We knew we both wanted to go to great programs.

Q: Have you spoken to him in the past week?
A: Yes. He called me about three days before we played Charleston Southern. It was just you know, 'How you doing? Stuff like that.' We didn't talk about the game or anything like that. We know we're playing each other.

Q: Are you real excited about the matchup?
A: I want to win bad. Not because its Major. But because right now, nobody in the nation respects Miami. It's a big game for us and for them. What Louis Murphy said really pumped us up. We had the article posted all over our locker room. We want to beat their whole team.

Q: Did you watch the last Gators game?
A: No. But I listened to it on the radio. I heard when Major got his interception and returned it for a touchdown. I was happy for him.

Comments

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you have a budget coach that is in WAYYYYYY over his head.

Posted by: CokeCanes | September 03, 2008 at 07:21 AM
budget coach affords expensive assistants ...

CARTE BLANCHE

FIRST

You wanna see the difference between this year's Northwestern recruiting class picking the Gators and last years picking the Canes?

Better women

Posted by: CokeCanes | September 03, 2008 at 07:30 AM
obviously, you lead a sheltered life ...
nearby South Beach brims with trim ...

JAW-DROPPING

You wanna see the difference between this year's Northwestern recruiting class picking the Gators and last years picking the Canes?

Better stadium

Posted by: CokeCanes | September 03, 2008 at 07:30 AM
http://dolphinstadium.com/
trumps
ben hill billy bob griffin sponsored by skeeters: home of the big biscuit stadium ...

MASTERSTROKE OF A PEN

You wanna see the difference between this year's Northwestern recruiting class picking the Gators and last years picking the Canes?

Better college

Posted by: CokeCanes | September 03, 2008 at 07:30 AM
auditorium-style classrooms leave a lot to be desired ...

PRIVATE $CHOOL V. PUBLIC SKOOL

You wanna see the difference between this year's Northwestern recruiting class picking the Gators and last years picking the Canes?

way more exposure

Posted by: CokeCanes | September 03, 2008 at 07:30 AM
last season, the disney networks (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) televised 11 of 12 games ...
because U turn on TVs ...

BANKABLE

http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/090706aag.html
NEW YORK (AP) -Florida State's 13-10 victory over Miami on Monday night was ESPN's most-viewed college football game ever.
The Labor Day game was on ESPN and ESPN2 and drew an average of 6,330,000 households. The 6.9 rating made it the network's second highest-rated college football game behind a 7.7 rating for Florida State at Miami on Oct. 8, 1994.

You wanna see the difference between this year's Northwestern recruiting class picking the Gators and last years picking the Canes?

Better conference

Posted by: CokeCanes | September 03, 2008 at 07:30 AM
sec isolation fuels cracker propaganda ...

AN ISLAND UNTO HERSELF

http://gtsports.blogspot.com/2006/05/acc-expansion-proves-wise-ajccom.html

The ACC dominated the NFL draft with more selections than any other conference - ever, more 1st round picks than anyone - ever, more defensive picks than anyone - ever. Throw in the fact that the ACC had the highest TV ratings of ANY conference last year according to ESPN
-- gtsports (5/06)

You wanna see the difference between this year's Northwestern recruiting class picking the Gators and last years picking the Canes?

Better facilities

Posted by: CokeCanes | September 03, 2008 at 07:30 AM
http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/mifl/galleries/facilities-strength-complex/weight-room-11-lg.jpg
the facilities are just fine, in fact most of the NFL canes come back to the U and work out all summer. They could work out anywhere and the choose the U gym so it must not be that bad.

Posted by: canechic | September 01, 2008 at 01:40 PM

JUDGE FOR YOURSELF

http://www6.miami.edu/miami-magazine/featurestory3.html
The Sprint for Hurricane Athletics, which seeks to raise $75 million to ensure that UM’s legendary intercollegiate athletics program stays at the top of its game. The Sprint campaign has raised $23 million to date and will continue until 2010.
-- miami.edu

Miami is on a downward spiral!

Posted by: CokeCanes | September 03, 2008 at 07:30 AM

WISHFUL THINKING

The ACC dominated the NFL draft with more selections than any other conference - ever, more 1st round picks than anyone - ever, more defensive picks than anyone - ever. Throw in the fact that the ACC had the highest TV ratings of ANY conference last year according to ESPN
-- gtsports (5/06)

Posted by: green | September 03, 2008 at 11:19 AM


local talk show guys on the radio have been saying the acc lacks talent. was hoping one of them looked up this info and switched the comment to the ACC lacks QBs.

Just wanted to let Canes nation know that sports talk and all Gator fans in the Gainesville area think the Gators will win by way more than the 24 point spread. Most don't even think Miami will score more than 10 points, they are predicting Gators 50 to 60 point to Miami 6 to 10 points for a Gators blowout. Don't let this happen.

"I'm OK with people saying we're inexperienced, but don't guarantee we'll get blown out." - Canesjunkie

I guarantee Duhhhh U will be blown out as does the entire Gator Nation.

I HATE TO TELL U I TOLD U SO

This is by far the most anticipated excuse week in the history of college football.

It all started with Randy Shannon whining like.... well, Randy Shannon in his public plea for Meyer to not run up the score on him.

I can't decide which will be worse, Duhhhh U's lame excuses for why U got blown out or your lame excuses for still living in the 1980's.

THAT'S THE WAY THE COOKIE GETS ANNIHILATED

You wanna see the difference between a 3A high school team and Duhhhh U?

WAIT EIGHT YEARS

"I guarantee Duhhhh U will be blown out as does the entire Gator Nation."

Posted by: canerules | September 03, 2008 at 01:03 PM

Is this the same guarantee that we have heard of since 1985?

Manny,
I have been a fan of your work for a lot of time, I just can belive that you help that clown of Joseph Goodman in that article he wrote, it only talks about bad things of our beloved city and implies that all the kids that choose any of the Colleges in Miami made a mistake since Miami si so dangerous... I am in awe that you supported this, and tell your co-worker that if he thinks Miami is so terrible, he should go and leave with his boyfriend in Gay-landia...

"I guarantee Duhhhh U will be blown out as does the entire Gator Nation."

Prove it

"I guarantee Duhhhh U will be blown out as does the entire Gator Nation."

Put your money where your mouth is

Thanks for that Q&A of Major Wright. Next time can you actually ask relevant questions? If there was another part of this interview that I missed that had that, then I apologize...

You wanna see the difference between the SEC and ACC?

LISTEN TO RANDY WHINE

"Prove it" - outkast cane

IT WAS PROVEN THE DAY DUHHHH U HIRED THEIR 4TH CHOICE COACH, PROMOTED WITHIN

U GET WHAT U PAY FOR

"What Louis Murphy said really pumped us up. We had the article posted all over our locker room"........so then we started talking trash ourselves?

“Are they going to be able to match up with our defense?” - Canes safety Anthony Reddick

OUR 4th STRING MAY BE IN OVER THEIR HEADS

“I think we have as many playmakers as they do” - Reddick

4 vs 11 - U DO DUHHHH MATH

“He (Tebow) may have done that to other teams, but I’m confident we’ll stop him.” - Canes DT Antonio Dixon

ANOTHER D PREACHING TEBOW IS GOING DOWN THIS WEEK - TALK TO HAYES

“If he (Tebow) wants to run up in there, it’ll be fun to see what happens. He’s a tough kid. Maybe he’ll be able to handle it.” - Canes middle linebacker Glenn Cook

6 ON DUHHHH BOARD - 4 TIMES IN 60 MINUTES...... SURE IS FUN, IF U ARE A GATOR

U FELL INTO THE TRAP, NOW YOU'RE STUCK IN DA SWAMP

Gosh you gaytor fans are so cool! Man anyone would trade a 5-7 season last year for a 9-4 season with a bowl loss, f*ck the five rings cuz its the past, we'd rather have 2 and a 9-4 season.

You dont talk about the past cuz you have NO past, NONE! Tradition= NONE!

Every team has their ups and downs, so enjoy your time now, enjoy it, please! You rag on us now cuz damn it must have hurt gettin your a*s beat every time we played since 85. Sucked gettin picked on huh? So now your trying to pay us back, I understand.

Your used to mediocre seasons, so once those two titles come around every 100 years, you are the ALMIGHTY!

Thats what happens when your not used to winning championships, I DONT CARE IF ITS THE PAST! Thats what we play football for, am I wrong? Please correct me if im wrong.

canerules seems pretty darn insecure about this game doesn't he?

Tebow will crush you like a bug you living in the past imbeciles.

This is 2008. You suck. Your conference sucks. Your coach sucks. Your stadium sucks. Everything about you sucks.

B L O W O U T

UM 6

UF 52

U B L O W O U R Q B

canerules seems pretty darn insecure about this game doesn't he?

Posted by: TubaCane08 | September 03, 2008 at 02:02 PM

All those f*cks seem insecure about their team/this game. I wouldnt in my right mind, go to an opposing teams blog/message board, EVERY single day to talk s*it. And they obviously read every story because they reply to it. What is the reasoning behind reading our stuff to see what is going on in OUR world, its so obvious that you are envious, I dont give a f*ck what you say.

So dont be hypocrites, sayin we were 5-7 last year, that is also the PAST! Say we do lose saturday, sure it will hurt but honestly my focus will go straight go to winning the ACC and making a major bowl game. Rag on our conference all you want, we dont care! Back out of the SEC since you wanna cry so much (like you backed out of playing us every year) and play in a soft a*s conference if it makes you feel better. We played MANY ranked opponents every year we won a title, I dont care what conference they were in.

Go post on your own sh*t, we dont wanna be like your team, we wouldnt trade sh*t to be in your shoes.

WOW, the TURDS are out, they are talking sh*T. All I want for Christmas is a WIN. Beat the GATORS.....

U R Q B B L O W S F I L I P I N O B O Y S

you wanna know the difference between the U fans and the Gaytor fans!?! well, the U fans don't even pay attention to the Gaytor fans, and the Gaytor fans are incredibly sour a**wipe losers they kill so much of their time going around writing stuff on all Hurricane blogsite there is just to convince everybody their team is relevant!

Just remember we got nothing to lose on Saturday, almost everyone expects us to lose this game, if we lose move on and win the ACC and big bowl game. Now, if the gaytors lose, its gonna be a huge blow to their program, mark it down, it will show their very suseptible to their remaining opponents and all those recruits that will be there will be like Wtf? Why did I even consider this school?

"Please correct me if im wrong." - 5 Middle Fingers Up My Arse, We got em?

U ARE WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS

"You dont talk about the past cuz you have NO past" - 5 Rings, One for Every One of Our Wins in 2007

LOOK UP COLLEGE FOOTBALL IN THE DICTIONARY, IT SAYS "REF. TO SEC"

I could speak about the past, but I don't really see the point in mentioning that the Gators have not had a losing season since the 1970's...... meanwhile Duhhhhh Mighty U is a 2 point conversion (by Nevada) away from having back-to-back losing seasons.

Let's not forget the most recent past of how Duhhhhh U's downfall really began.........the second U joined a conference with mediocre competition.

IT'S NOT A COINCIDENCE, GET OVER YOURSELVES

"to convince everybody their team is relevant" Duhhhh U advertises free tix with a test drive and still only fills up half a stadium.

I HATE TO TELL U I TOLD U SO

"almost everyone expects us to lose this game" - guy born yesterday

Now it makes total sense why Shannon was begging for Meyer to not run up the score on Duhhhhh U.

Now, if the Duhhhhh U loses, its gonna be a huge blow to their program, mark it down, it will show their very suseptible to the skill level of their fourth choice coach and all those recruits that will be there will be like Wtf? Why did I even consider this school?

U NEED TO KEEP YOUR "EXPERT" ANALYSIS TO YOURSELF

keep telling that to urself buddy, whatever helps u sleep at night, 50 percent of ur game attendance are alums, while another 25 percent are friends and family, atleast in a city like miami, it's people in general who really come to attend and watch not just a college football team, but a team that truly represents the whole city, before u start talking, think about what ur going to say first, u just made Gaytor fans even more dumber than it already is! MAYBE IT'S ALL YA'LL GAYTURDS WHO NEEDS TO GET OVER URSELVES!

the difference between us, is that UM admits our decline, while UF thinks just b'coz they've been winning from the last 2 years, it's like ya'll think ur football champs for the past 2 decades! WE ENTERED ACC WITH A LOT OF OUR STARS GETTING DRAFTED BY THE NFL, WHILE YOUR GAYTORS STILL STUCK PLAYING IN THE COLLEGE LEVEL, IT'S A COME AND GO LEAGUE ASSWIPE!

What's the deal with bloggers using " cane" in their name, and really dislikes Miami. Substitute the name with gator.

run up the score my ass! the only thing Gayturds are going to be running, are themselves away from that game, coz' they'll wish they would never have to play Miami ever again, why do u think they cancelled their anual game with em'??

now if u wanna talk relevance, 5 national championship to your 2, nuff said!

dumb cane fan will never see the correlation between them becoming LOSERS and them joining the ACC. Imagine if they played all those decadeds in a real conference.

Marve gets crushed by Spikes. Meyer runs it up on pansy canes to show recruits who the real football program is in florida.

UM has been eroding for YEARS. That hasn't stopped. Go ahead. think it's all fixed and the ship is righted. LAUGH. You haven't seen the bottom yet cane fan...you haven't seen the bottom yet

"Please correct me if im wrong." - 5 Middle Fingers Up My Arse, We got em?

U ARE WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS

"You dont talk about the past cuz you have NO past" - 5 Rings, One for Every One of Our Wins in 2007

LOOK UP COLLEGE FOOTBALL IN THE DICTIONARY, IT SAYS "REF. TO SEC"

I could speak about the past, but I don't really see the point in mentioning that the Gators have not had a losing season since the 1970's...... meanwhile Duhhhhh Mighty U is a 2 point conversion (by Nevada) away from having back-to-back losing seasons.

Let's not forget the most recent past of how Duhhhhh U's downfall really began.........the second U joined a conference with mediocre competition.

Posted by: canerules | September 03, 2008 at 03:24 PM

Aw man you went as far back as 07, holy sh*t imagine that. You couldve mentioned 06 too.

You wanna talk mediocre? 100 of 102 of your seasons have been mediocre, sucks huh? (its all your conferences fault, we know)

Again you have NO past.

Oh ok you did mention 06, I tend to breeze thru your posts since they are full of rediculous, untrue, bulls*it.

i sure hope the c-stores dont run out of mountian dew and cigarettes because its going to be a long night for those losers in that mosquito infested god awful swamp that wouldn't even be a city if it wasn't for I-75 running right throught it. think about it canes the gayturds are all they have? how bad does your city have to suck that your college football team is all you have? well your going to have some really pissed off hillbillys come sunday GO CANES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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