North Carolina pledge Korey Banks received belated Christmas gifts from the Southeastern Conference. On consecutive dates in late December, Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee offered the 6-foot, 165-pound wide receiver from Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek.
The presents have led Banks to enlarge his official visit schedule – which initially only consisted of a return to UNC the weekend of Jan. 15 – to include Alabama (Jan. 22) and South Carolina (Jan. 29).
“UNC fans shouldn’t be worried,” Banks said. “They shouldn’t be worried because I’m a Tar Heel.”
Since the UNC official visit is first on his docket, Banks admits there’s a chance he could cancel future trips elsewhere upon returning from Chapel Hill.
The UNC staff, which last spoke to Banks on New Year’s Day, has yet to pressure Banks into repealing his Alabama and South Carolina official trips.
“For the most part, they’re cool with it,” Banks said. “I didn’t really feel they were trying to talk me out of [those visits].”
Banks’s UNC official will be his fourth overall visit to UNC.
“I basically just want to get into next year [when talking with the coaches],” Banks said. “And then I’m going to try to enjoy myself.”
Next season, UNC’s wide receiver depth chart will need to replace its career reception record holder, Quinshad Davis, as well as Damien Washington. The following year will see Mack Hollins, Bug Howard, and Ryan Switzer exhaust their eligibility.
“I’m basically going to learn from the older guys and work my way in,” Banks said. “I’m very confident in my game. I’m confident in that if I do what I do, I’ll be playing.”
In doing what he does, Banks decidedly led Sandy Creek, a traditional football power in Georgia, in receiving this past season. He pulled in 61 passes for 813 yards and six touchdowns. Those numbers made up roughly 50-percent of the team’s receiving output.
Along the lines of enjoying himself, Banks is looking forward to spending ample time with future fellow receivers Rontavious Groves and Roscoe Johnson. The trio played high school ball in three different states.
“Rontavious, him and I are looking forward to kicking it and Roscoe,” Banks said. “We talk like every week. All of us have a good relationship.”
Banks last visited UNC during homecoming weekend. During his stay, UNC reeled off a 66-31 victory over rival Duke.
“It didn’t really feel that different [being a commit on campus] – it was pretty much the same,” Banks said. “The atmosphere was great, I see myself at home, the campus s beautiful, the people are nice, and there are a lot of things to do. I saw a lot of Tar Heel Blue.”
Although he only caught one game in person, Banks watched every minute of the other 13 on television.
“I feel like it definitely was a big step from last season,” Banks said. “The defense played a lot better, the offense couldn’t be stopped, and the special teams contributed every game. It was a lot better season [than a year ago], but it was what I expected -- you could see the potential last year.”