Despite Bill Cubit and his staff carrying the “interim” title as coaches, they continue to carry on on the recruiting trail, and hosted one of their top defensive secondary prospects for the Ohio State game in 2016 DB Bryce Banks of Columbia (MO).
"I was mostly looking forward to see how the coaches handle challenges on the field and the atmosphere of the crowd and the players,” Banks said. "That and the energy of the team in this environment.”
The Illini staff has stayed in frequent contact with Banks, and as a result, the relationship has remained a strong one. The family vibe that Banks feels with the Illinois staff has given him a comfort level that stands out to him.
"The relationship has been good,” he said. "They started recruiting me late spring. We have a really great connection. I just like it a lot. They’re very family-oriented. I like both Cubits and Coach (Tim) Banks, who I talk to a lot. I talk to them pretty much every week.”
Banks was originally committed to hometown Missouri for some time this summer, however after contemplating his commitment, he found it in his best interest to reopen his recruitment and seek another opportunity further from home.
"The reason behind it was basically me knowing that i needed to get away from home and grow up,” Banks said. "There were a lot of issues back home that would potentially hold me back, so I realized that getting out of Columbia and being mature would be the best thing for me.”
Banks wasn’t too specific about what he’s looking for in a school, but the word “fit” can mean a lot of different things. Given the nature of his decommitment from Missouri, it is likely that he is looking for a school that will provide a strong support system both on and off the field.
"I just want a school that fits me and fits my style of play and also has great academics,” he said.
Banks hasn’t officially narrowed his list of schools to a short list, per se. However, a recent offer led to one upcoming visit, while a return trip to Illinois is also in the queue.
"I just recently got an offer from NC State from the ACC,” he said. "I’m taking my official visit there on the 20th. My official visit to Illinois is set for the weekend of December 4th."
It won’t be long before Banks has to select a school, though, since he says he plans to join a program at the semester break and be an early-enrollee.
"I have to decide sometime relatively soon since I’m planning on being an early-enrollee,” he said, "so I’ll probably decide in mid-December."