James Banks considering transfer options

The father of former Tennessee Volunteer receiver/quarterback James Banks tells Inside The Ville that Louisville is one of the schools that his son has high interest in.

Following a stellar high school career at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, quarterback James Banks earned numerous accolades - such as Parade All-American - and was one of the most sought-after prospects in the nation. The Scout.com All-American would eventually sign with Tennessee and have two solid seasons with the Volunteers, until an injury and off the field problems forced him to transfer following the 2004 season.

As a true freshman Banks saw action in eight games as both a quarterback and receiver. Prior to the start of his sophomore season Banks made the transition to receiver and would finish the year as the team's leader in receptions (42) and receiving yards (621). Knee surgery just prior to the start of the 2004 season sidelined him for a year that he hopes to soon put behind him.

"He realizes that he made a mistake," his father said of the instances that led to his son's dismissal from the team last December. "We have to turn this into a positive situation and not dwell on the past. When you talk to him now it is like he is a different person."

Part of the process that will assist Banks in turning his situation into one that will effect his life positively is making a decision on where to finish his college career.

"When we first started this process I said that we should take our time, but now it's getting to a point where we are looking at all of our options more," said his father James Banks Sr. "He's been actively looking at everything for a couple of weeks now."

Those options include transferring to a Division I-A program or playing on the Division II or NAIA levels.

"If he decides to play I-A then he will only have one year left," explained Banks. "If he goes to Division II or NAIA he will still have two years to play."

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Banks has expressed interest in making the University of Louisville his new home should he decide to remain on the I-A level. He has made two visits to U of L, including a one for the Cardinals annual spring game, and according to his father has spoken with a member of the U of L coaching staff.

"There are a few reasons why he is interested in Louisville," Banks said. "The closeness to Indianapolis is great, Louisville will be losing three of it's primary receivers and the style of play that Coach Petrino has is great for James."

Banks, who is good friends with current Cardinal Montrell Jones, was also Indiana's Defensive Player of the Year as a senior at Ben Davis and would also consider a move into the secondary if that's where he's needed.

No matter what position Banks might play at his next school, he plans on starting the transition as early as this summer.

"He'd attend summer school so he can continue to pursue his degree, but also to give him more time to become familiar with the team's play book," explained Banks. "If he has the opportunity he will need to maximize his time."

While the thought of having a receiver as talented and experienced as Banks - even for just a year - appears to be a possible good fit for Louisville, his father said that he's not sure if that option will become available.

"They haven't talked to me directly," Banks said of the Louisville coaches. "I'm not sure if there is a spot for James [at U of L]. The decision is his to make and I know that he really likes Louisville and if they offered him a spot we'd be grateful, but he'd still have to look at all of the options."

And while those options may or may not include U of L head coach Bobby Petrino giving Banks another chance for just one year of eligibility, his father did have high praise for the Cardinal program.

"Coach Petrino has Louisville looking like they are going to be a force on a national level year in and year out."


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