Pound It In His Head

The Notre Dame coaching staff put the full-court press on standout defensive back E.J. Banks today.

While waiting to go into his meeting with Irish head coach Charlie Weis this afternoon, the McKees Rocks, Pa. product and his parents sat and talked with assistant coaches Corwin Brown, John Latina and Rob Ianello.

"We were talking, and they were telling me about all the advantages of Notre Dame and the history there and the graduation rate, stuff like that," E.J. Banks explained. The Montour High star has around 50 scholarship offers from some of the nation's best programs including Ohio State, Florida State, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Colorado, Georgia, Rutgers and West Virginia.

"From there, we went into coach Weis' room, and he basically repeated everything they had said. They just tried to pound it into my head about how great this place is, and how I don't have to worry about coaches leaving or anything else."

Banks got the message.

"Yeah, it seems like it's a good fit," he stated when asked if he thought about verbally committing. However, at the moment for Banks, a couple other places also feel like a good fit.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Banks was making his second trip to Notre Dame's campus. He attended the spring game back in April, and in May listed the Irish in his top three with Ohio State and Georgia.

Banks accomplished everything he wanted to on his most recent visit to South Bend.

"I wanted to check out the engineering program," Banks said. "Talk to some of the people there.

"Since I want to graduate early and be a mid-year guy and graduate in January, I talked to some of the admissions people and the dean of first-year students or something like that, to see if it's okay with the classes I take. We got the go ahead. They said you're fine and your schedule is good.

"I wanted to hang with the players," Banks continued. He got a chance to do that on Saturday night. "They were too funny. They had me cracking up the whole night. We were with Ian Williams, (Duval Kamara), we were with Gary (Gray), Dayne (Crist), I saw Dayne, I saw (Kyle) Rudolph. We were just chillin. They're just the funniest guys. Being around them is too funny."

So where does Banks go from here?

"I just have to analyze these last two schools," he said. "Rutgers is one of my top schools, and I've never been out there. I was talking to coach (Greg) Schiano. We were talking, but I've never been out there. I've been to Notre Dame, I've been to Ohio State, but I haven't been out there. I've been to a game there, but I haven't been able to meet and get to know the coaching staff and players there.

"I'll probably go there at the end of July, and that will probably wrap it up for me in the summer, and you might see some action from me after that, committing wise."

The Ohio State coaching staff has told Banks they will hold a spot for him.

"For sure," Banks said.

This weekend, Banks also got another tour of the Notre Dame campus. The Golden Dome and Touchdown Jesus were a couple of the highlights.

"We were taking pictures," he said.

Banks also found out what position Notre Dame would like to start him out at.

"Coach Brown said he likes me at corner, but it's wherever I feel more comfortable. He likes to have flexibility with the guys in the secondary. If it doesn't work out at corner, I'll play safety."

In helping lead Montour High to the AAA WPIAL District Final this past season, Banks played quarterback and completed 80-of-134 passes for 1,235 yards. He also gained 878 yards on 167 rushing attempts, with nine touchdowns passing and eight rushing.

On defense, Banks used his 4.5 speed to make 52 tackles, intercept three passes, break up 10 more and recover a fumble.

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