On Monday afternoon Wildcat sophomore linebacker Rob Hankins announced his “retirement” from the sport due to concussions. Hankins becomes the latest Wildcat linebacker to see his Wildcat career conclude early.
“My career as a player has come to an end,” Hankins said via his Facebook page. “I’ve had too many concussions and suffered too much damage to my brain to be able to take the field again.”
If you look back at the Mike Stoops era at Arizona, the last five years were marred by linebacker departures. Injuries, transfers and other issues depleted the position. To make up for the lack of linebackers, the Wildcats often had to turn to JC players to fill out the roster. Although many of those players were successful, they were two-year stopgaps which continued to thin out the roster when they left.
Zander Fabbri – Quit football shortly after enrolling at Arizona. Remained a general student for several years. Would be a fifth year senior.
R.J. Young – Left the program two years ago. Transferred to Louisiana-Monroe and played a key role in the Warhawks’ upset over Arkansas over the weekend. Would be a fifth year senior.
Trevor Erno – Left the program after one year. Never played. Would be a redshirt junior.
Cordarius Golston – Transferred to Baylor after a year at Kilgore College. Left, in part, due to the departure of Mark Stoops to Florida State.
Kyle Benson – Personal issues led him to being academically ineligible.
Bryan Wagner - Akron transfer decided not to pursue football in final year of eligibility. First lost RichRod LB.
David Lopez - JC transfer no longer with the team. Had one year of eligibility left.
Rob Hankins – “Retired” from football due to injury.
In that time Arizona has also had to bring in five JC linebackers, but they have all since exhausted their eligibility, so they have no impact on this year’s team.