Jalen Banks talks in-depth Vandy

Although the Commodores dropped their third SEC game to Florida last weekend, the emphasis still remains on the future during the James Franklin era. The day after the game, Vanderbilt secured a commitment from Jalen Banks, who was on campus for an official visit from his home in Harvey, IL.

Although the Commodores dropped their third SEC game to Florida last weekend, the emphasis still remains on the future during the James Franklin era. The day after the game, Vanderbilt secured a commitment from Jalen Banks, who was on campus for an official visit from his home in Harvey, IL. The 6-foot, 190-pound defensive back, who plays at Thornton Township High School, says the weekend trip helped to seal the deal.

"They invited me in and made me feel like I was already a Vanderbilt Commodore," said Jalen Banks. "That was a big part of it, but academics and the opportunity to compete in the SEC were also factors as well. I have a lot of trust in Coach Franklin. This class is going in their to write history and do something special. I'm hoping my commitment will lead to more and we can have one of the top recruiting classes."

This was Banks' second visit to Nashville. He took an official visit in June. This time, he brought the whole family.

"My little brother, both of my sisters, and my parents were there," Banks said. "We came down and ate lunch with the coaches. Then we got to see a great game. It was a great game day atmosphere. The fans really show their support for the team. The players played a hard in a fought game. It was a lot of fun to watch even though they came up short.

"I had fun with some of the guys I had met in June. My player host was Andrew Williamson and we hung around with (Brian) Kimbrow, Trey Wilkins, and Javon Marshall. We got to meet Coach Franklin's family. I really felt a warm, family vibe the whole time I was there. I made my commitment to Coach Franklin on Sunday. He was very excited about it. We left to come home on Monday."

Banks plays safety at Thornton Township High School. His team, the Wildcats, play against other southwestern suburban Chicago schools and have fared well starting off the season at 7-1.

"I have two picks and more tackles than I can count," Banks said on his senior season. "I've blocked a punt and a field goal attempt and have two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. This year I feel like I'm in great shape, I know my responsibilities on the field, and I'm just going out there and making plays."

Thornton Township High School has produced football notables such as Napoleon Harris, Tai Streets, Barry Gardner, and Antwaan Randle El. This weekend they'll face Andrew in their last regular season game of the year. Banks will graduate with his class in May of 2013.

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