Report: LSU’s Brian Kelly to round out staff with hire of New Orleans native, Cortez Hankton

It appears LSU first-year head football coach Brian Kelly was waiting for the right time to close out his 10-member coaching staff.

What’s been widely speculated for weeks has apparently come to fruition Sunday with multiple reports of New Orleans native Cortez Hankton, a member of Georgia’s national championship coaching staff, being ready to join Kelly’s staff.

Both On3.com and The Athletic reported Hankton, a wide receivers coach/passing game coordinator, is set to become the final piece to LSU’s new staff and pair with running backs coach Frank Wilson and quarterback Joe Sloan to give the Tigers another solid recruiter with vast knowledge of the state.

The 40-year-old Hankton was a former standout at St. Augustine High School before going onto start for four years at Texas Southern and spend six years in the NFL.

Football Scoop has been adamant about Hankton’s candidacy at LSU for several weeks. With the Bulldogs involved in CFP national semifinals, Kelly had to wait before being able to officially bring Hankton aboard until after his season finished.

Georgia won the school’s first national championship in 41 years on Monday with a 33-18 victory to secure the program’s fifth straight Top 10 finish.

Hankton’s served in his current role at Georgia for the three seasons after beginning his stay in Athens in 2018 as wide receivers’ coach where he had a reported salary of $375,000. His most celebrated player has been All-SEC wide receiver George Pickens, the MVP of the ’20 Sugar Bowl and a projected high-round pick in this year’s NFL draft.

He began tutoring a group of receivers in his first season – Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley and Terry Godwin – who were all drafted in the ’19 NFL draft.

Hankton’s college coaching career spans a decade, making his first stop at Dartmouth where he coached wide receivers for three years before moving onto Vanderbilt for an additional three years where he coached the same position group.

Hankton attended Texas Southern out of St. Augustine and was a four-year starter. He was a two-year team captain, team MVP as a junior and senior and was selected a third team 1-AA All-American by The Associated Press.

He signed as an undrafted free agent in ’03 with the Jacksonville Jaguars where over his four-year stay he caught 34 passes for 310 yards and 2 TDs. He spent a year with the Minnesota Vikings and spent the entire ’08 season on injured reserve on the roster of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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