News: Georgia set to hire assistant coach Cortez Hankton away from Vanderbilt

8:07 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 Sports

ATHENS — Georgia is set to raid another SEC coaching staff: Cortez Hankton, the receivers coach at Vanderbilt, is expected to be hired by UGA, barring a snag, according to someone close to the program.

Hankton, who is 37 years old, spent the past three seasons at Vanderbilt, after three seasons as the receivers coach at Dartmouth. He also spent six years in the NFL as a wide receiver.

This will fill out head coach Kirby Smart’s coaching staff, though roles for several assistant coaches have not been confirmed yet. James Coley spent the past two seasons as receivers coach, and then rebuffed an offer from Texas A&M, which wanted him to be offensive coordinator.

“Cortez is simply one of the brightest, most impressive young coaches in college football,” Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason said upon Hankton’s hire in 2015.

Vanderbilt had two of the SEC’s top 14 receivers this season, going by receiving yards per game. Senior Trent Sherfield had 50 catches for 729 yards and five touchdowns, and sophomore Kalija Lipscomb, who Hankton recruited, had 37 catches for 610 yards and eight touchdowns.

Hankton spent six years in the NFL after being undrafted out of Texas Southern in 2003. Jacksonville signed him and he played in 16 games as a rookie, notching 17 catches for 166 yards. He would play four years for the Jaguars, catching 34 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns.  Then he spent on year with Minnesota and another year with Tampa Bay.

After his NFL career ended, Hankton kept playing, and worked under a future and former NFL head coach: Jay Gruden was his coach for the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League, and Marty Shottenheimer coached him with the Virginia Destroyers in 2011.

Then Hankton, who had dabbled in coaching on a part-time basis, went into coaching full time, spending three months as a volunteer assistant at Central Florida before moving on to to Dartmouth as receivers coach.

Hankton is a native of New Orleans, and both of his parents were police officers.

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