American Football Wiki
Merton Hanks
Personal Information
Jersey #(s)
36, 45
Born March 12 1968 (1968-03-12) (age 56)
Career information
Year(s) 19911999
NFL Draft 1991 / Round: 5 / Pick: 122
College Iowa
Professional teams
Career stats
INT 33
INT yards 410
Touchdowns 3
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

  • Pro Bowl selection (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997)
  • All-Pro selection (1994, 1995, 1997)
  • NFL Alumni Defensive Back of the Year (1995)
  • Super Bowl champion (XXIX)

Merton Edward Hanks (born March 12, 1968 in Dallas, TX) is a former safety in the National Football League.[1]

Hanks attended Lake Highlands High School, where he was a district track and field champion. He went on to the University of Iowa, earning all-Big Ten honors at cornerback. However, at the NFL scouting combine, his 40-yard dashes were extremely slow, and he was not drafted until the fifth round by the San Francisco 49ers.

Despite his low selection, Hanks was selected for 4 Pro Bowl and 3 All-Pro teams. He was well-known for his interceptions and returns, as well as his unique "chicken dance" celebrations which were later emulated by basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.[2][3] He was a member of the 1994 San Francisco team that won Super Bowl XXIX. Hanks finished his career with the Seattle Seahawks, retiring in 1999. He is now a senior manager and assistant director of operations for the National Football League, and regularly goes on speaking tours.[4]


  1. Merton Hanks. National Football League. Retrieved on 31 December 2010.
  2. Gwen Knapp (December 21, 1997). Dances with Hanks. Retrieved on October 16, 2011.
  3. Phil Taylor (December 01, 1997). Basketball Jones. Retrieved on October 16, 2011.
  4. "Where are they now? Merton Hanks", 9 October 2008. Retrieved on 31 December 2010. 

External links[]