Meet the Montbello Trio

Montbello High School in Denver (Colorado) has become a breeding ground of talent. Last season alone the school produced three Big 12 players, including Texas' Michael Houston. This year looks to be no different as, Greg Banks, RJ Sanders and Victor York, some of Coach Oliver Lucas' most gifted players have spent the past few days camping at Iowa State. Montbello complied an 8-4 (7-0 conference) record and advanced to the 5A state quarterfinals a year ago.

Greg Banks

Aggressive is one way to describe Banks, he claims to have more aggression than everybody else on the field.

"Everybody's out here to compete," he said. "Trying to get my scholarship and I got to protect that. I got a lot of scholarships in my hand and I'm not going to let anybody take it from me."

Among those scholarship offers are Oklahoma, Colorado, Colorado State, Michigan, Syracuse, Iowa State, Kansas State, Nebraska, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and Cal, but Banks wants more.

"I told my coach I'm trying to get every team in the nation to watch me," he said. "That's one of my goals and then I want to redefine the defensive end position."

The 6-foot-4, 240 pound linebacker, also has other aspirations.

"I want to get an education," he said. "I want to be the first one in my family to graduate from college. I'm thinking about law, maybe engineering. I'm not a math whiz, but I do try."

Banks is toying with the idea of graduating early from high school and will make his college decision fairly soon.

"[Iowa State is] a good school," he said. "I like it. There's nothing wrong with it, but I'm going to keep my options open."

One thing that Banks and his teammates know for sure is that if they can't play together at the same college they want to be in the same conference.

"I want to hit Mike [Houston] on the next level," Banks said. "I told him, ‘I'm going to get you one day.'"

RJ Sanders

Throughout his high school career, Sanders has been playing in the shadows of Houston, who rushed for 1,414 yards and 23 touchdowns for Montbello in his senior season.

"It was an experience," Sanders said. "But we taught each other."

Sanders held his own and has been garnering interest from Colorado State, New Mexico State, Michigan State, Washington, UCLA and Iowa State. RJ's father, Reggie, also made the trip to Ames. He said that RJ is 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and growing.

"It seems he loves to eat right now," Reggie said. "He's eating non-stop. He's grown and developed a lot."

RJ runs a 4.47/40-yard dash, besides playing tailback; he also doubles as a defensive back and a kickoff returner. Reggie said he has had a great time in Iowa and that Ames is a "real nice community."

As for RJ, he said Iowa strikes a good balance between urban and rural.

"I like it," RJ said. "It's a little bit humid, but I can deal with it. I like the college town; it's nice, quiet and calm."

RJ said he probably won't go to any other camps this summer and he might not need too.

RJ was offered a scholarship to Iowa State before he returned to Colorado.

"[RJ's] a team player," Reggie said. "That's one thing about RJ, he's an unselfish kid. That's something he's been taught. He enjoys his teammates and they have a lot of fun together."

Victor York

At 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 283 pounds, York is the biggest of the three. He plays defensive tackle for Montbello and already has an offer from Iowa State. York, who has been clocked running a 4.9/40-yard dash, said Iowa State's recent success won't influence his decision at all.

"I can come here and they don't win a bowl game in my four years of being here," he said. "The odds are we might not win a bowl game."

One factor that might influence York is where his Montbello teammates decide to go. Currently Iowa State and Colorado State have shown the most interest in the trio.

"Me and RJ have been playing together since flag football league," he said. "We've been playing together forever. Me and Greg started playing together in high school, so that'd be real good if we'd come together to play college football."


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