Chicago – When Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek star Korey Banks signed up for the Adidas Top 10 Showcase he knew his attendance could help boost his recruitment, but he had no idea how much.
Now he does.
Before he even stepped foot on a field to compete, he and numerous other attendees hopped on a tour bus bound for Michigan. On the itinerary were stops at Western Michigan, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, and Michigan. For Banks they were all memorable, but the stop in Ann Arbor was more so because of the scholarship he walked away with.
“It was definitely exciting shaking coach Harbaugh’s hand (and) getting offered,” said Banks. “It was just exiting. I’m blessed.”
Banks’ experience fits the pervasive theme that has emerged in Michigan’s post-signing day recruiting efforts. His offer came out of nowhere.
“Actually (Friday) was my first day meeting the staff… my (first time) ever talking to them,” Banks said still somewhat in shock. “I kind of walked up to (Jedd Fisch), shook his hand, asked him can I have a minute of his time, and showed him a minute of my film. He watched a minute and he came back downstairs and said, ‘you have an offer from us.’ He took me to meet (Harbaugh). That was definitely unexpected. I expected him to get back with me next week or something, but he got back with me today, so that was pretty big.”
So what did the Wolverines see that moved them to action so quickly?
“I would definitely say that my niche is being a speed guy,” the rising 2016 prospect stated. “I knock the top off of defenses. I don’t think I get tackled by the first man, ever. I think that’s a big part of my game. I still have a lot to work on though. I’m definitely not where I want to be. I still have a lot to work on.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro and former Central Michigan star is proof-positive that explosive talents do sometimes fly under the radar. That said, there’s little chance now of obscurity tethering Banks’ recruitment. Western Michigan also tossed its name in the offer hat Friday to help push his scholarship tally near double figures. Before that Wisconsin had been his biggest offer and the Badgers had been leading the pack, but now that the Wolverines have entered the fray things have changed a bit.
“It’s Michigan,” Banks said matter-of-factly. “Getting that offer was definitely exciting. That had to be the most exciting out of all of them. But I don’t have a favorite or top five. See me in a few weeks and I’ll have a top five for you.”
By that time he will have gotten a much better feel for Michigan… one that could be aided by a possible return to Ann Arbor for the spring game next weekend. In the meantime, even with limited knowledge of the Maize & Blue he knows the Wolverines will figure very prominently in his still-to-be-determined recruiting hierarchy.
“Who wouldn’t have interest in Michigan,” Banks said with exasperation in his voice. “Jim Harbaugh is the coach. He’s one of the greatest. Also they actually seat 118,000 fans so that’s always big. And Michigan is the Big House. What kid wouldn’t grow wanting to play for Michigan, Ohio State, and those types of schools. That’s real big. (Ann Arbor) is definitely a college town. I feel like it’s somewhere I could call home. It just all depends on how hard they recruit me.”
Even if Harbaugh & company don’t get the opportunity to continue their in-person recruiting efforts next weekend, Banks guarantees they will at some point.
“I definitely will be taking an official to Michigan,” he said. “I’m not sure which game I’ll be at, but I’ll definitely be taking an official to Michigan.”
A commitment to building on a very strong first impression will be the key to victory for the Wolverines. While he admits to being tempted to accept Michigan’s offer on the spot, he says it will take much more to earn a solid verbal pledge from him.
“(The decision will come down to) wherever makes me feel like I’m home,” he said. “I’m going to the school that likes me the most… that wants me the most… that can fit what I do. The school that is recruiting me the hardest. I want to go to whoever wants me the most. Distance isn’t an issue at all. Whoever wants me the most… that’s where I’m going.”
“I don’t think I’m going to wait (until signing day). My decision will definitely be made before July or during July so I can focus on my senior season, but my recruiting still will be open whenever I do commit. That won’t close off my recruiting or nothing like that. It’s just saying that I’m committed to a school, that’s my favorite school at the moment, and that is the school that is big with me at that time.”