LSU wide receiver Jaray Jenkins has been with this program for quite some time, and in turn, has seen the highs and lows of what it means to be a Tiger.
With different coaches, different schemes and different personalities, it brings challenges, but one thing Jenkins is sure of is the elite coaching style Cortez Hankton attains.
Hankton, who is in his first year with the Tigers, has significant ties to the state of Louisiana, which gives this program a piece of the culture this state breeds.
Jenkins harped on how Hankton’s attention to detail and nitpicking has elevated this wide receiver room; allowing them to get production from each wideout.
“The way that he coaches, he’s worried about the little things,” Jenkins said. “I feel like the little things are what takes our game to the next level. I feel like that’s what he’s been doing since he’s been here. Him telling us we need to fix the little things is what helps everybody.”
Involvement is a piece of the puzzle that Jenkins detailed most. With some receivers coaches, they aren’t as involved in the offensive scheme, but with Hankton, he’s right next to offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock making sure this program is in good position when the football is in their hands.
“He’s involved a lot, you can tell he loves his job, you can tell he’s really into it. We needed that,” Jenkins said. “I feel like by him coming here it was a big impact for our offense. He’s that guy.”
On the field is one thing for Hankton, but being a mentor off the field is another. This LSU wide receiver room is loaded, and with such talent, it brings attention.
From star wideouts in Kayshon Boutte to Malik Nabers, all the way to emerging star Brian Thomas Jr., it provides a platform that Hankton understands well.
In turn, Hankton has been a leader off the field for his receiver room. While holding players accountable for their actions, he’s also in their ear making sure they don’t make simple mistakes.
“It’s not just all about football. He helps us with stuff off the field as well,” Jenkins said. “He’s like a mentor to us. He keeps it real. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything. He tells us what’s right from wrong and that’s what makes him stand out even more.”
This season hasn’t been perfect by any means. With a slow start to the year, this young team put their trust in their coaches, and this wide receiver room fell back on their leader in Coach Hankton.
Bringing the energy each and every day, Hankton kept the morale of this team up to reach the elite status they’re at right now. A team that is transitioning and building a fresh culture, to have a coach of Hankton’s caliber is what will prepare them to be great in the long run and it’s shown.
“He always picks us up no matter what,” Jenkins said. “Whether it’s a bad day or a good day, bad game or not, he always has the same energy no matter what. The energy is just that we need to get better every day.”