UA linebacker Rob Hankins' football career is over as he struggles to return from a concussion suffered in training camp.
Hankins' father, Rob Sr., posted the following on his Facebook account today, shortly after coach Rich Rodriguez questioned whether Hankins would ever play again.
Rob Hankins Sr. wrote:
Rob Hankins’ fantastic football career ended at University of Arizona with a serious concussion. After more than 5 weeks, the concussion symptoms have not entirely resolved. He has worked with an excellent training staff, team doctors, coaches, and neuropsychologists but must now undergo some treatment. The best decision is to retire completely from football. The risks in going forward in football are far too great.
Rob has played a lot of seasons in the last 10 years and had tremendous success playing on undefeated teams, a state championship team at Parish Episcopal and starting four games at middle linebacker for the University of Arizona in the PAC 12 as a true freshman. He and I salute all the wonderful coaches, teammates, mentors, trainers and supporters along this magnificent journey.
Thank you to Coach Rich Rodriguez and Coach Jeff Casteel from Arizona. A very special thank you goes out to a very special coach/mentor in Rob’s life, Head Coach Scott X. Nady at Parish Episcopal. Coach Nady has done so much for Rob and all the kids in his program at Parish.
Rob will continue to support his Wildcat football brothers and his studies in pursuit of a Sports Psychology degree at Arizona.
Hankins, a sophomore from Dallas, was widely expected to start at one of the three linebacker spots. The concussion slowed his progress; he did not dress for the UA's Sept. 1 opener against Toledo or Saturday's 59-38 win over Oklahoma State.
Earlier today, Rodriguez said Hankins' slow recovery had put his career in jeopardy.
"I'm not a doctor or anything like that, but the early signs are not encouraging as far as Rob being able to play football," Rodriguez said.
Hankins played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2010, starting three of them. He finished the season with 10 tackles.
Read more in Tuesday's Arizona Daily Star