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New York Giants Defensive Tackle Johnathan Hankins Ready to Transition to NFL

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Ohio State Football Head Coach Urban Meyer hsn't much of a fan of rotating his defensive linemen too much.

And it's that approach that New York Giants' second round draft pick Johnathan Hankins - "Big Hank" to his friends and future teammates-said helped prepare him for his upcoming new life in the NFL.

"I love the game and I really don't want to come off the field," Hankins said during a conference call with the New York media on day 2 of the NFL draft. "So I feel like I took the challenge of playing all the snaps, and I feel like I did pretty good at it."

The numbers would appear to back up Hankins' opinion. He started 25 of the 38 games he played in for the Buckeyes, recording 138 total tackles (58 solo). While he only managed f5.0 sacks for minus 27 yards, he did accumulate 16.5 tackles for a loss for minus-55 yards during his three-year career.

"I feel like being the way I am, being 325 lbs., you don't see many big guys running side to side making plays and just playing all positions on defensive front," he said.

Although Hankins probably won't be an every down player for the Giants-he'll likely cut his teeth in obvious running down situations--he believes his transition to the pro level will be a smooth one thanks to the lessons he learned at Ohio State.

"It helped me tremendously from just a physical aspect to my weight to getting me stronger," he said of his collegiate career. "(Also) when it came to the game and just watching film and knowing what offenses are going to do before the play is going to happen. Just the tradition there in getting guys to the league is a great asset for me (and) prepared me well."

In time, Hankins believes his pass rushing skills will be on par with his run stopping abilities.

"I feel like I can rush the passer," he said. "One of my strong points is stopping the run so I'm working on my pass rushing techniques and working on getting a lot better so I can become a complete tackle."

Until then, Hankins' run stopping prowess should come in handy in helping to rejuvenate a Giants' run defense that was ranked near the bottom of the NFL last year.

"This is not just a raw guy that doesn't know what he is doing," said Giants Director of College Scouting Marc Ross. This guy knows how to play football. He just shuts people down when they try to run the ball. Whether it is taking on one block, two blocks - he just bangs inside and he holds the point. You need those guys to win. It helps everybody on your defense. It helps your linebackers get free. So we really like that about him."

They also no doubt like the young man's confidence.

"I feel like I'm one of the best and I'm going to keep on working to continue to be good," Hankins said.

Patricia Traina is a New Jersey-based, accredited sportswriter who has covered the New York Giants professionally for Inside Football and the Sports Xchange. She is also a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow her on Twitter @Patricia_Traina.

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