Hankerson Mentions Connection To Shields At "The U"

University of Miami draft prospect Leonard Hankerson remembers former teammate Sam Shields as a "great athlete."

INDIANAPOLIS––Sam Shields might not be mentioned in the same breath as Andre Johnson, Michael Irvin, Reggie Wayne and Santana Moss as some of the great wide receivers coming out of the University of Miami, but the latest playmaking wideout from "The U" counts Shields as a pretty darn good player in his own right.

"Sam Shields is a great player," said Leonard Hankerson. "Works hard in practice. He played receiver, went to DB and he also played for the Packers and did what he had to do."

Shields made the move to cornerback his senior season at Miami and has played there ever since, including this past season as the Packers' nickel cornerback.

So was Shields a better cornerback or receiver? Hankerson wouldn't say.

"He was an athlete,"said Hankerson. "He made plays all over the field."

Considering the Packers played as well as they did in the secondary with an undrafted rookie like Shields, it's probably safe to say he's found his calling as a defensive back.

In any case, Hankerson relishes carrying the torch as the next wide receiver from Miami to make the jump to the pros.

"To be able to have my name mentioned with the great receivers that came out of the University of Miami comes from working hard, doing what you're trying to do off, on the field, in the weight room, in the film room," said Hankerson, "and I feel like I'm living up to the dream."

Hankerson is probably in the second tier of wide receivers available after Georgia's A.J. Green and Alabama's Julio Jones come off the board early in the first round.

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BrianD's picture

February 25, 2011 at 04:18 pm

For as great as Sam Shields played this year, he often looked like a rookie in man coverage. I'm not saying he was bad - it's amazing when a rookie can keep up with veteran receivers, and he did most of the time - but he definitely has room for improvement. It's great to have Shields' receiving skills in the defensive backfield as well. His two interceptions against the Bears were incredible.

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PackersRS's picture

February 25, 2011 at 07:52 pm

Shields have unbelievable insticts. He got beat up sometimes this season, but like you said, where rookie mistakes, like guessing and lazy technique, like lowering his hands on bump coverage.

Whereas some other guys, like, uhm, Josh Bell, simply have little ball awareness. They seem to lose their man, and, most frustrating, have no idea where the ball is when it's in the air. That is incredibly hard to teach and improve on.

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