Recruiting notes: Hankerson scores three touchdowns to lead Aquinas to 7A title

Jon Santucci
Palm Beach Post

FORT LAUDERDALE — St. Thomas Aquinas running back senior running back Anthony Hankerson scored three touchdowns in the Raiders 42-14 win against Tampa Bay Tech in the Class 7A championship game Friday night, but he wasn't interested in taking all the credit. 

"Everybody came out here and played well," he said. "I'm not going to just sit here and talk about myself. Big shout out to my O-line. They came out here and laid it all on the field. They create the gaps, I hit the holes."

Hankerson, who topped the 1,000-yard mark for the season Friday, opened the scoring with a 30-yard touchdown run where he kept his balance after being hit in the hole and stiff-armed a would-be tackler at the 10-yard line.

More:Recruiting: Coastal Carolina signee Tray Brown caps big week with third championship

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Anthony Hankerson (2) of St. Thomas runs past Rukeem Stroud (22) of Tampa Bay Tech on his way to scoring a touchdown during first quarter of the Class 7A state championship game at DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, FL  Dec. 17, 2021.

He added a four-yard run later in the quarter and finished the night with a 16-yard run in the third quarter to give Aquinas a 42-7 lead and start the running clock. Hankerson led all rushers with 117 yards on just 11 carries.

With a third consecutive state title wrapped up, Hankerson now turns his attention to his future. 

He's reported more than 25 offers during high school, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Miami. It's unclear how many of those offers remain. 

"I was just kind of being a little separate," Hankerson said. "I was more focused on the season. Now that the season's over, I'm going to start cracking down. I have a couple options, I'll be in contact with more coaches."

Hankerson said he expects to sign in February. 

Anthony Hankerson (2) of St. Thomas stiff-arms Rukeem Stroud (22) of Tampa Bay Tech on his way to scoring a touchdown during first quarter of the Class 7A state championship game at DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, FL  Dec. 17, 2021.

ANYTHING YOU CAN DO 

Two of the state's premier senior receivers put on a show with highlight reel catches in the second quarter. 

Tampa Bay Tech's Greg Gaines III, an Iowa State signee, hauled in a six-yard touchdown pass for the Titans lone score. It was a one-handed grab on a play where Gaines' left arm was being held and the officials threw a flag for the defender making contact with his helmet.

Camden Brown, who signed with Auburn, responded on Aquinas' next drive with an acrobatic touchdown catch. On fourth-and-four from the Titans 21-yard line, Brown leapt and needed every inch of his 6-foot-4 frame to haul in the pass and still managed to land in bounds.

Gaines led all receivers with seven catches for 131 yards. Brown finished with three catches for 47 yards. 

St. Thomas head coach Roger Harriott and his team celebrate winning the the Class 7A state championship 42-14 over Tampa Bay Tech at DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, FL  Dec. 17, 2021.

RECRUITING NOTES  

Aquinas senior tight end Mason Taylor, the son of NFL Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor, caught a pass from Zion Turner in the corner of the end zone in the second quarter. Despite Taylor clearly getting a foot inbounds, the officials ruled that he was out of bounds when he caught the ball. Taylor signed with LSU on Wednesday. 

Aquinas junior safety King Mack had an athletic interception in the first half that was wiped out by a penalty. Mack has offers from several Power 5 programs.

Aquinas senior quarterback Zion Turner had another strong game, going 10 of 13 for 102 yards and two touchdowns. 

Tampa Bay Tech junior quarterback Xavione Washington was 21 of 34 for 249 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 27 yards. 

Tampa Bay Tech freshman wide receiver Santonyo Isaac, one of the top receivers in the class of 2025, had three catches for 39 yards, including an impressive first-down grab on the Titans opening drive. Isaac's offers including Indiana, West Virginia and Penn State

St. Thomas fans came out in numbers to support their school during the Class 7A state championship game against Tampa Bay Tech at DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, FL  Dec. 17, 2021.