James Banks (6-0 220 Jr FB/LB) is one of the top linebackers in the state of Oregon, and schools are starting to inquire all over the region about his services. More than anything Banks looks the part. He’s got a no holds barred type attitude and brings 100 percent every play. Banks recently earned first team all league honors and was voted team defensive player of the year. He accounted for 63 total tackles (5.3 per game) with 2 Ints, 4 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 blocked field goal. He also earned honorable mention all league honors from his full back position totaling 440 all purpose yards and 8 touchdowns.
All of this has came after an 11-1 season that saw #1 ranked Marist lose to eventual state champion Mountain View in the Semi Finals. Banks earned all league honors at 6A South Eugene as a sophomore which showed that he could play at the highest level and do well at a young age.
All of the stats don’t even begin to explain James. He has over a 4.0 weighted G.P.A. with a 3.93 accumulative taking all AP classes at a tough private school. He is currently getting college credit for most of his classes, and also takes Calculus at the University of Oregon. His smarts are helping to open doors, as he is hearing from certain Ivy league schools and other interesting prospects such as Duke.
Washington st, Oregon St, and Washington have sent him the most mail, but he wants to keep all options open. He projects as a D1aa-D1 caliber kid and would ultimately like to earn a scholarship and get his school paid for. ” My goal is to play Divison 1 football at some level where I can get an elite education” , says Banks. He comes from an athletic family that has always set expectations accordingly. ” My parents wouldn’t let me get away with getting a B because they knew I was better then that and they were right”.
All of the hard work has paid off thus far, but he says its tough how the season ended .”The loss to Mt View was difficult to take and we left with a sour taste in our mouth, I want to win a state title in 2012″. Banks is a kid that is willing to work which is something you can’t teach. He has already added 10 pounds this off season and he’s been playing hoops. He would like to add additional size and work hard on his speed over the spring and summer. He is considered one of the top 3 junior linebackers in Oregon, and was named first team all state on our 1st annual NEI all state team.
You can plan on seeing James and all the other top athletes from the Pacific Northwest on the NEI/Barton tour over the spring and summer months. The overall competition level in the Midwestern league leaves many of the starters sitting all of the second half due to blow outs. It sounds like a nice problem to have, but Banks wants to play against the best which he will get a chance to do this off season. We look forward to following Banks and reporting on the schools that come his way. He is a humble kid and a class act in every sense of the word.