Greyson Bankhead is more quick than fast, but he nearly set a record on Friday for quickest turnaround from offer to commitment, when offensive coordinator Tony Franklin -- after watching Bankhead in practice the day before – extended a scholarship to the Corona (Calif.) Centennial receiver.
"He came down to practice, watched and talked to [2014 signee] Tre Watson during practice, and Tre put in a good word," Bankhead told BearTerritory soon after committing. "They thought it was a good fit, they offered [Friday] right after lifting."
Bankhead said he committed "right off the bat," because, thanks to Watson, he knew the offer was coming, and that Berkeley was his "dream school."
"Tre told me that they were going to offer soon, and I'd been talking to them lately," Bankhead said. "Me and my dad and the family went over it, and I was ready to commit on the spot, when it came in. When I heard about it, it was on the spot."
Bankhead had only an offer from Arizona before the Bears jumped in, mainly because of his size. At 5-foot-9, 155, Bankhead isn't exactly a physical presence, but his performance on the field against some stiff competition last season – to the tune of 73 catches for 1,045 yards and 11 touchdowns – proved that he can be a playmaker.
"I look small, and I don't play strong, but when you actually play with me, I'm a physical receiver," Bankhead said. "When a big guy steps up to me, I'm not going to back down. I'm never going to back down from anybody bigger than me.
"They were looking for a slot receiver and a good route runner; not too much speed, but they were looking for that good route runner who knows how to get open, and I fit that spot. They're done recruiting at that spot, and I'm done recruiting with other schools, so we're all in."
What made Berkeley Bankhead's dream school?
"I went there last summer during a visit with Tre, and I fell in love," Bankhead said. "My main goal, for college, was to stay in California, and when I came and saw the campus, it was beautiful. When I started talking with coaches, we ended up having a bond, and that bond led to other things. It was perfect."
Bankhead and Watson have known one another for the last two years, and it was because of Watson's glowing recommendation that Bankhead went on that fateful visit.
"We played three years together, and hopefully, now we've got more years to come," Bankhead said of Watson. "Before the visit, I wasn't getting recruited as much, so I didn't think about college as much as I am now, and when I went on that visit, seeing Tre getting recruited by them, and how much of a bond and a friendship he had with the coaches, it gave me a good example of how I could have the bond with the coaches. I wanted the same thing as him – to go to a college and play."
Along with Watson, Bankhead has a long relationship with another current Bear in wide receiver Kenny Lawler.
"My dad trained him a while ago; he was a sophomore in high school, so it was a while back," Bankhead said. "I talk to him a lot. We've been texting, and he's been telling me the upside of Cal and the coaches and about how the educational program is there. He loves it there, right now, and couldn't be in a better position. Hearing that from that type of guy like Kenny Lawler, it's big for me. I look up to that kind of guy, and when he tells me that, and I got the offer from there, I took it right off the bat."
Bankhead has a 3.0 GPA, and is taking the SAT on Saturday and again in June. He doesn't have a concrete idea of what he wants to major in.
Bankhead describes himself as an "elusive route runner," who is a student of the game and a perfectionist.
"I don't have the speed; I don't have too much long speed, but I have that quick burst, and that route running will get me over," Bankhead said. "Trust me: I'll be getting open."
'Trust me: I'll be getting open'
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