Banks To Be Maclin-Like

Kansas State's returning Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year Brandon Banks is itching to get started in 2009 with an offense expected to feature No. 83. Banks says coaches have promised to get the ball in his hands, much like the Missouri Tigers did last year with Jeremy Maclin.

Have you heard of Jeremy Maclin? He's the former Missouri Tiger, who is getting real rich these days in the National Football League.

He's the guy who latched on to a Big 12-high 102 passes last year with 13 of those going for touchdowns. He's also the one who led the league in all-purpose yards at 202 per game.

"That's the type of player I want to be," said Kansas State's Brandon Banks. "He's a play-maker, and I think that's what I am. One of those guys who has the ability to make a play and score a touchdown. A guy who makes people miss in the open field. He did that better than anyone else last year and I've studied him a lot."

The 5-foot-7, 150 pound ("Really, I'm 147.6 pounds," he quipped during last week's media day) Bakersfield College transfer had a season last year that included a team-high 67 catches for 1,049 yards and nine touchdowns, to go along with 126 rushing yards on seven carries.

Those were numbers that helped him earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors.

"His biggest asset is his speed, plus he's a tough guy," said KSU receiver coach Michael Smith. "We stress with him about the number of other little guys who have played here and put up numbers. People around here are used to seeing guys like Aaron Lockett and Darren (Sproles) run around and make plays."

While miniature in size, Banks is fast - 4.26 in the 40 - and he is strong - 265 bench press.

"You appreciate his toughness," Smith said. "At that size, toughness isn't always expected, but Brandon is tough."

To Sproles, who was roughly the same size, Smith says, "He's not as shifty as Darren, but that's not a knock on him because Darren was the shiftiest player I've ever seen. But Brandon has that straight-ahead speed that has been documented. He's quick and he's fast."

When it comes to comparing himself with others, Banks politely offers, "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."

The attempt this season will be to get Banks into double-digit touches each and every game.

"That's what I'm hoping for," beamed Banks.

The other two early-camp starting receiver spots are being manned by Lamark Brown and Attrail Snipes.

Brown (6-3, 225, Jr) caught three passes as a true-freshman, and 24 more last season when he opened the year as a receiver, but was shifted to running back where he totaled a team-high 412 yards.

"Lamark has the size that you love," Smith said of the St. Louis native. "He's worked on getting his hands better and he's just not dropping it."

Snipes (6-1, 180, Sr) played in just one game last year, catching a single pass after transferring from Bakersfield College, where he teamed with Banks, plus Wildcat defensive tackle Daniel Calvin.

"Attrail is another fast guy, who really improved over the summer," Smith said.

K-State will have nice depth with Aubrey Quarles (5-11, 195, Sr), Matt Wykes (6-2, 209, Sr), Cole Bachamp (6-0, 175, Soph) and Sheldon Smith (5-11, 180, Jr) among the candidates competing for starting duty.

Quarles caught 34 balls for 407 yards last year, and Wykes 3 for 24 yards.

"We have guys who want to compete to be a starter," said Smith. "That's what you want as a coach. We have some proven players, and some who are out to make a name for themselves." WIDE RECEIVER TWO-DEEP CANDIDATES Cole Bachamp, 6-0, 175, Soph, Manhattan, Kan. Brandon Banks, 5-7, 150, Sr, 5-7, 150, Garner, N.C. Lamark Brown, 6-3, 225, Jr, Hazelwood, Mo. Aubrey Quarles, 5-11, 195, Sr, Aurora, Colo. Sheldon Smith, 5-11, 180, Jr, Culver City, Ca. Attrail Snipes, 6-1, 180, Sr, Seattle-Rainer Beach, Wash. Matt Wykes, 6-2, 209, Sr, Conway Springs, Kan.


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