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Senior QB James Banks (6-3, 194) of Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, is one of the most highly-sought after QB's in the country. Banks, a dual-purpose threat, is rated the #3 QB by Rivals.com and the #18 QB by SuperPrep.
Ben Davis Coach Dick Dullaghan is guarding his prospect's privacy as his 9-0 team prepares to enter the playoffs, so we couldn't get to Banks himself. But we talked to his coach for a while, and Dullaghan didn't pull punches when he raved about Banks.
"If Michael Vick was any better than him in high school, I want to see it," Dullaghan says. "This guy (Banks) is really good. I've been coaching 36 years, and he's the best high school football player I've ever been around. That includes Rex Grossman and Jeff George.
"There's no need to talk about stats," Dullaghan continues, "because he's run the ball, he's passed the ball, but he hasn't done any of them more than the others. He does everything. He's on the field 105 plays a game. He doesn't come off the field. He intercepted two passes for touchdowns last Friday night, threw a touchdown pass, and ran 69 yards for another one."
Thanks, Coach, but we'll talk about stats, anyway. Banks has started since he was a sophomore, and his teams have gone 15-0, 12-2, and 9-0 (so far this year) for a 36-2 career record. To this point, Banks' career stats are -- Passing: 281-499, 4,282 yards, 50 TD's, 14 INT's; Rushing: 340-1946, 5.72 ypc, 24 TD's; Punt returns: 19 returns for 16.21 ypr, 2 TD's' Kickoff returns: 13 returns for 306 yards, 23.54 ypr ("Nobody kicks to him, nobody punts to him anymore," Dullaghan laments. "He stands back there, and they just kick it out of bounds"). Punting: 67 punts for 2500 yards, 37.33 ypp, long of 83. Receiving: 1 catch for 19 yards. As a defensive back, Banks this season has 18 solo tackles, 30 assists, 48 total tackles, 3 knock-downs, and 3 INT's, 2 of which he returned for TD's.
Banks is obviously a multi-talented player and athlete ("He runs the 400 meters in under 50 seconds," Dullaghan says), but he wants to play quarterback at the collegiate level.
Virginia Tech got involved in recruiting Banks because a Tech fan/alumnus was a volunteer coach at Ben Davis a couple of years ago, when Banks was a sophomore. "There was a volunteer coach helping me out," Dullaghan explains, "and he loved Virginia Tech, and he loved Michael Vick. I think he was a Tech graduate -- he sent Rickey Bustle a tape of James Banks playing as a sophomore, and Virginia Tech immediately thought he was the best prospect they'd laid eyes on."
Reports are mixed as to whom Banks favors. His list includes Michigan, Purdue, Clemson, Tennessee, VT, and Miami (FL). Alliance Sports/Rivals.com lists no favorites, but SuperPrep says he favors Michigan over Tennessee, Purdue, Clemson, and VT. A source told Tech Sideline two weeks ago that Tech was in Banks' top three of Michigan, Northwestern, and VT. Banks has not yet qualified.
To view the TSL recruiting database entry for James Banks, click
|News Items From the Past Week|
Last Week's Game: the Hokies jumped on Boston College 34-0 and then worked on their power running game for most of the second half. The defense gave up three late scores to make the final a respectable (for BC) 34-20.
TSL Game Recap: Click here
TSL Game Analysis: Click here
This Week's Game:
-- Linebacker Jake Houseright and defensive back Larry Austin both had their knees operated on following the Boston College game, to clean up minor cartilage damage. The Hokie coaches and trainers hope they'll be ready to go in time for Oct. 27th's Syracuse game (noon, Big East Game of the Week), but if not, they should be ready the following week.
-- Linebacker Ben Taylor has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, as announced Thursday morning by The Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc. (DACO). The award goes annually to
-- The Hokie golf
team won the 18-team Duke Golf Classic last week, with Tech senior Johnson Wagner finishing tied for second
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