E.J. Banks is one of the best players in Pennsylvania in 2009. As a junior, Banks rushed for 920 yards and 10 TDs, and passed for 1,235 and six TDs. On defense he showed his playmaking potential as he recorded three interceptions. He was named to the "Fabulous 22" team by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and "Terrific 25" by the Tribune-Review after his stellar junior campaign. With 30 offers, Banks has been one of the most heavily recruited prospects so far for 2009.
"I have 30 or 32 offers right now. I am very happy about that. I never expected that I'd have this many choices. Schools like Ohio State, LSU, Florida State, Notre Dame, Miami, Clemson and many others are the schools that have offered. Arizona State is a school that likes me as a corner or safety. They are far away from home, but I like their situation because they can offer me immediate playing time."
Coming into the process Banks states that Penn State was a school who he'd take a hard look at if they offered. The in-state program has long been one of the top schools in the nation, and Banks has always been a fan. According to E.J., the Nittany Lions haven't offered.
"Penn State is a school that I'd really look at if they offered me. But they haven't and haven't shown any interest in me. I'm not really that bummed about it. It is close to home and all, but I'm not looking at them anymore since they haven't shown the interest."
Florida State is a school that likes Banks at safety. The 6'1" 183 pound athlete says he got the offer from Coach James Coley, and said that he was excited about the offer.
"I spoke to Coach Coley about the offer during lunch. I didn't have too much time to talk to him, but I was excited when I got the offer. I didn't think any of the Florida schools were going to offer me. I'm going to check out the Seminoles most likely. From a distance they look appealing, so I may use an official to come down there and check them out."
E.J. has been a frequent visitor on campuses across the nation over the past several weeks, as he has been checking out some of the schools that have offered.
"I've been to Ohio State, Notre Dame, Illinois, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. They all had their good points. Ohio State has the facilities, Notre Dame has the academics. I came out of the visits still open to the process. They all offer the same stuff like great education and good programs."
On the high school level Banks plays quarterback for his Montour High team, but he says the consensus is that he will be playing on the defensive side of the ball on the next level. For Banks, that is something he is okay with.
"From all the coaches and experienced people I have spoken with they say I can play both sides of the ball, but I'm best fit to play defensive back. I am happy with that and feel that I am well rounded enough to do well. I can also come in and help the return game too. People have told me that I am quick and that I can come up and make the tackle. I break fast on the ball and I am a hard hitter."
E.J. says that he is going to go through the whole process and take all his visits. He isn't sure when a decision will be made after that, but knows what he is looking for.
"With all of these unofficial and official visits, I am looking to make the decision based off of lifestyle, surroundings and relationships with the coaches. Location and distance will not be a factor for me."
The Seminoles need to bring in as many defensive backs as possible this recruiting season, and Banks is a guy they have pegged early. If they are able to get him in for an official, they'll be able to become a major player for the talented playmaker. Stay tuned to NoleDigest for further updates with E.J. and the rest of the 2009 recruiting class.