Banner strives to be the best

Offensive linemen may not always get their share of respect during the recruiting process when compared to skill position players, but Zach Banner is looking to change that in the months ahead.

When talking about some of the top offensive linemen in the country it is easy to see why Zach Banner has his name among the best in the nation. At 6-foot-9, 300-pounds, the Lakewood (WA) Lakes High School product knows work must be done on a daily bases.

"I know I'm not good enough to play college football right now," Banner told Irish Eyes. But I will be working my tail off to be good enough to play as a freshman."

While some may question Banner's ability to be prepared for early playing time, he knows from his past work it is possible.

"We have a great tradition of having great players here at Lakes High School. I came in my freshman year and showed everyone I was capable of playing early in high school. I expect the same results when I arrive at college.

"I plan on one day getting drafted and I want to be big and strong. I want to be the biggest and fastest guy on the field. I do not want to be like other linemen. I don't need a gut to block somebody. I'm working out as hard as anybody but I'm also on the track running as hard as anybody."

One college that has caught Zach's eye is Notre Dame. How much interest does he have in the Irish?

"My interest in Notre Dame is very high. In fact it is as high as anyone else out there and I have already set up my official visit for the USC game."

One of the reason the Irish are sitting is solid shape with Zach is his recruiting coach for the Irish, Mike Denbrock.

"Coach Denbrock is the recruiting coach for me and he is cool. I feel like we are building a real good relationship right now as we email each other almost every day."

As for when Zach learned about his Irish offer, it goes back several months ago.

"I found out Notre Dame had offered me last year when they called my coach."

While some have talked about Zach's desire to play basketball at the college level as well as football, he understands there will come a day when he'll have to walk away from the hardwood.

"Yes sir! I have interest in playing both sports at Notre Dame. Right now is a dead period but Coach Denbrock told me that I'm high on the basketball teams recruiting list and that I will be hearing from them.

"It is very important that I get a chance to play basketball because I love both sports and being a star in both sports. I fully understand that I want my future to be in the NFL and if at some point my coaches or advisors tell me to pick one, I will do so without any problem. I'm ready for that to happen someday."

Zach says he is being recruited by Notre Dame as a left tackle and described the strengths of his game.

"I'm really good in pass blocking. I can also run block, but my strength is pass blocking and being able to get down the field. I love to lead block and have those small guys running behind me. I'm not just a big guy who cannot move, I'm able to move."

One thing Zach understands about the recruiting process is the end results only matter to him. Do not look for him to rush his decision by what other prospects do.

"I'm not too worried about who is going to get recruited. I need to do what is best for me. Right now my plan is to make my decision after the Army All-American Game."

We will continue to check back with Zach in the coming months as his recruitment continues.


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