Banks Latest of KSU's 'Little Men'

Brandon Banks was the 2008 Big 12's Offensive Newcomer of the Year, and now in 2009, he'll be asked to do even more for Kansas State's football team. He wants to be known as Brandon Banks, but if things go as plan, he'll be compared to Missouri's multi-purpose star Jeremy Maclin.

Bill Snyder has coached some smallish Wildcats in his time.

There was 5-foot-7, 160-pound Aaron Lockett in 1998-2001.

There was 5-7, 175-pound Darren Sproles in 2001-2004.

And now, there's 5-7, 150-pound Brandon Banks. Maybe 5-7; maybe 150 pounds.

"Brandon is the smallest young guy I have ever seen in my life, and one of the fastest," said the Wildcat coach. "He has so much in front of him. When I say that, he is one of those inconsistencies that exist, but with Brandon you feel as though he is getting it and understanding it."

Snyder went on to say of his miniature wide receiver, "He has talent. He has the ability to run. You can do a number of things with someone that has the kind of quickness and speed that he has."

But only, Snyder will add, if Banks becomes more consistent on the practice field ... like a Sproles, and like a Lockett did.

In comparing the players, Snyder said Banks is more like Lockett because "... Darren had some girth to him. Brandon doesn't."

Working as only a wide receiver last year, Banks caught 67 passes for 1,049 yards and nine touchdowns in earning Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year honors. He ranked 19th in the nation and fifth in the Big 12 in receiving yards.

On seven reverses, he also averaged 18.0 yards per carry, which included a 93-yard touchdown run.

"It went a lot better than I could have imagined," said Banks, who transferred to K-State from Bakersfield College. "It only could have been better had we won more games."

Now under Snyder, Banks said the plan is for him to handle the ball a lot more ... "a Jeremy Maclin-type" player.

"This is what I wanted to be all my life," Banks said of being a catch-run threat. "I'm working hard to be able to do it."

The Missouri ace receiver is expected to go in the top 10 to 12 selections in this weekend's NFL Draft after a season where he caught 102 balls for 1,260 yards and 13 touchdowns, plus ran 40 times for 293 yards.

While Banks is looking forward to more touches, he says, "I'm like myself. I'm like Brandon Banks. I don't want to be compared to anybody else. I just want to score touchdowns and help my team win."

But that will also take efficient play at the quarterback position.

"I'm encouraged," Banks said of the three primary players taking snaps - Carson Coffman, Joseph Kassanavoid and Collin Klein. "It's hard to compare them to Josh (Freeman), but they're stepping up, reading coverages and getting the ball there on time."

Banks is also listed as the starting returner for punts and kickoffs after ranking 15th in the nation last year with a 28.0-yard kickoff return average, plus 11.6-yard average on punt take-backs.


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