words // Brandon Richard
After a busy offseason that has included the signings of incoming rookies like Von Miller, Prince Amukamara, Titus Young, Kyle Rudolph and Randall Cobb, adidas Football has added a couple more newcomers to their lineup for the upcoming season. Officially joining the 3-Stripes family this summer are wide receivers Leonard Hankerson of the Washington Redskins and Edmond Gates of the Miami Dolphins.
Chosen 79th Overall by the Washington Redskins in the Third Round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Leonard Hankerson is a standout wideout from the University of Miami. In his senior campaign, Hankerson set single-season school records with 72 catches, 1,156 receiving yards and 13 receiving touchdowns. He further established himself as one of the fastest and most athletic receivers in this year’s draft with five catches for 99 yards and a touchdown at the Senior Bowl and running a 4.43 40-yard-dash at the NFL Combine.
“My game is all about speed,” said the All-ACC wide receiver Hankerson. “Being a half step faster than the defense is what made the difference in my games at Miami. Playing football in the NFL means I’ve got to bring everything I’ve got and really focus on being even faster. adidas is making the lightest cleats out there right now and in the NFL, I know I’m going to need a light cleat that keeps me fast and gives me the confidence I need to join the ranks of the other fast NFL receivers coming out of the U.”
Edmond Gates was selected 111th Overall by the Miami Dolphins in the Fourth Round. Out of little known Abilene Christian in Texas, Gates was named a Division II All-American in his senior season after catching 66 balls for 1,182 yards and 13 touchdowns in leading the Wildcats to an 11-0 regular season record. His 4.37 40-yard-dash at the NFL Combine was the fastest time among wide receivers and in the top five overall.
“I consider myself to be one of the fastest players in this year’s draft,” said Abilene Christian’s record setting wide receiver Gates. “I signed with adidas because of the adiZero 5-Star. The cleat is super lightweight and comfortable. It looks good and feels great and because it’s so lightweight it will help me take my speed to the next level and play even faster.”
All of adidas’ new acquisitions this offseason have been made to compliment the launch of the lightest and fastest cleat in football, the adiZero 5-Star. Weighing in at just 6.9 ounces, the adiZero 5-Star was on display in February as the NFL prospects in Indianapolis who ran the fastest 40-yard-dash times at each position, all wore the lightweight cleat.
“Football players are faster than ever before,” said Mark Daniels, director of football for adidas. “Players at all levels are looking for an edge to keep them fast and we’ve changed the game with the new adiZero 5-Star. Both Hankerson and Gates are going to be equipped with the lightest cleat in football to help them make an immediate impact in the NFL.”
Read more about adidas’ new NFL Prospects and the 5-Star Cleat over at www.facebook.com/adidasfootballUS.
Leonard Hankerson, Wide Receiver, University of Miami
Edmond Gates, Wide Receiver, Abilene Christian