Banks bulks up

You cannot go wrong getting your recruiting news from InsideTennessee. Check out this story on a commitment who hopes to change his body in the next 24 months:

Dorian Banks has college-level speed, agility and football skills. Now he just needs a college-level physique.

A Class of 2016 athlete from Gallatin who committed to Tennessee last winter, Banks carries just 170 pounds on his 5-foot-9 frame. Being an ambitious sort, he’s hoping to pack on 25 pounds in the next two years.

”I’m trying to get up to 180-185 this season,” he told InsideTennessee after attending a recent Vol camp. “I’d like to be at 195 – right around there – by the time I graduate (high school).”

Banks must add weight carefully, however, so he maintains his superior quickness.

“My biggest key is my speed,” he said. “I’m very quick, agile and hard to tackle. I make plays.”

Banks says he ran a 4.46 forty at Tennessee’s camp a year ago. He has no idea what he clocked this summer, noting: “I didn’t get my time this year. I didn’t ask for it.”

He spent most of the recent Knoxville camp working with running backs coach Robert Gillespie. That suggests the Vol staff views him as a ball-carrier.

“Offense is what I plan on playing,” Banks said, “but if anything changes I’ll end up on the defensive side.”

At his current size he probably could play cornerback at the college level. To handle the blocking requirements of a receiver or the punishment incurred by a back, he definitely needs more bulk.

“As of now, probably corner is my best position,” he conceded. “If I bulk up like I want to and need to, then I’ll be fine on the offensive side.”

Banks made such a good showing at one of Tennessee’s 2013 summer camps that Tennessee’s staff took notice.

“They offered, and I ended up committing in February,” he recalled.

Even with a scholarship offer in hand, he decided to attend the 2014 camp.

“I just came here really to get familiar with the coaches and to see how I’m going to shape up because right now they’ve got me as an athlete,” Banks said. “I really don’t have a specific position.”

The Vol pledge already feels “familiar” with Tennessee’s head man. Banks suggests that Butch Jones is a players’ coach who can practice tough love when the need arises.

Led by head coach Butch Jones, the Volunteers signed Scout's No. 4-ranked recruiting class in 2014.
(Danny Parker/
“It’s just the way he handles himself, the way he handles business,” Banks said. “He’s a businessman. He has fun with us but when it’s time to go work it’s time to go work. He has times where he’s relaxed and times when he’s yelling but he would only yell at you if he feels like you’re not doing what you need to do 100 percent.”

Jones assembled a top-five signing class last February and appears to be gathering more quality players for the 2015 and 2016 hauls. Banks isn’t surprised.

“He’s doing a lot in the recruiting process,” the player said. “He knows how to talk to his players. I think the players can relate to him, and that’s why everybody’s wanting to come to Tennessee.”

Including Dorian Banks. As much as he likes Tennessee, however, he hasn’t closed the door on other schools completely. Mark Stoops is in hot pursuit, and several more SEC coaches are intrigued by the speedster from Gallatin.

Kentucky has already offered,” Banks said. “I’m getting interest from Auburn, Alabama, Florida State, Notre Dame, USC, South Carolina, Louisville, Clemson and a few more.”

So, is the recruiting process over or not?

“I wouldn’t say it’s over,” Banks said. “I still have two years (before signing), so I’m going to go to camps and take my visits. I feel pretty comfortable with my commitment to Tennessee but there’s two years to go, and a lot of things could change between now and then.”

Still, it will take a lot to change his mind. He likes everything he has encountered at Tennessee thus far.

“The atmosphere, the coaching staff,” Banks said. “Everything a player is looking for they have here.”

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