Commitment Spotlight: Brandon Banks

Being a well-known shutdown cornerback can have its disadvantages, especially when it comes to putting up big numbers in your senior season. Brandon Banks, from Brandywine-Gwynn Park, Md., has been committed to Vanderbilt since August. The defender found ways to improve upon his game in the secondary although he didn't get the ball thrown to his side of the field very much this season.

"This season I got better in all of my coverages," said Brandon Banks, "man, off-man, zone. Playing cornerback, I think I only had four passes thrown to my side all year. I made some plays at receiver though and had eight touchdowns catches for us."

Gwynn Park finished the regular season with an 8-2 record, but fell to Glenelg in the Maryland 2A South Region Semifinals, 17-14. Banks had three catches (80, 38, 4) for 92 yards and a touchdown in the game. He was named 1st team All-Prince George's County. Now that the Yellow Jackets season is complete he's setting his sights on his upcoming official visit to Nashville.

"I talk with the coaching staff regularly," Banks said. "Coach [Bob] Shoop came up last Tuesday. He was at my high school, but I only live a couple of minutes away. He stopped by there for a couple of minutes to say hello.

"Coach [Chris] Beatty was here for an in-home visit last Thursday. They want me to come up on January 20th for my official. I'll get a chance to get to know a lot of the other recruits and see who I want to room with."

Banks said he watched every Commodore game this season and excited with the progress they've made with so many new faces in the coaching staff.

"I thought we would win just a couple of games this year," Banks said on Vanderbilt's season. "It was shocking to me we made it to a bowl game. They had close games with Arkansas, Florida, and Georgia. If you look at the recruiting class we have coming in this year, we can get a whole lot better. My parents and I are talking about going to Memphis to see the team play in the Liberty Bowl."

Banks, 5-foot-11, 158-pounds, gave the Commodore staff his commitment this past summer over the likes of in-state Maryland, UConn, Cincinnati, Michigan State, and Pittsburgh. He says there were a variety of reasons he chose to go with Vanderbilt, the first being James Franklin.

"I had known Coach Franklin from his days at Maryland," Banks explained. "He was the first coach to offer me a big-time scholarship. After visiting Tennessee, I saw people were so happy, friendly, and nice. It was a lot different from Maryland. In the spring, I met Coach [Wesley] McGriff. I loved his enthusiasm."

Banks will play for the South in the Chesapeake Bowl also known as "The Civil War" on December 30th. The All-Star games features senior players from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

Banks reports a 3.8 GPA and says he's ready for May graduation because he's "ready to get down there" to join his team.

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