A Quick Hitter With CB Coach Melvin Smith

Mississippi State cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith talks about his freshman cornerback, Johnthan Banks.

What do you like about Johnthan Banks after watching him in practice for a few days?
"I really like him but he has to work on everything. But he has what God gives you and that is talent. He's trying to play the most difficult position as there is in football other than quarterback but I believe he has the skills to do it.

"Other things I like about him is he's always on time, he's always got his notebook open and he's very inquisitive."

As a cornerback, do you like the size he is right now?
"The thing about his size is you can't teach size. It's hard to find a cornerback that is tall and also has the athletic ability, the change of direction, the ball skills ... all the skills that it takes to be a corner. It's really hard to describe but he's blessed with those. He's got really great instinct and skills and great feet. And he has a mean streak about him. And he has a great feel for the game. He played quarterback and safety in high school so he understands the game of football. He's just got to learn the techniques. I think he's going to be really good.

"I know I'm not talking about him but (sophomore cornerback) Damien Anderson is one of the most talented guys that I have ever been around. And Banks has those same kind of skills. And both were quarterbacks so they understand the game. That's so big at corner.

"I'm excited about coaching him."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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