"It's Vandy's time."

Ladarius Banks spent three seasons as a starter at East Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga. The 6-foot-2, 270-pound nose guard helped his team, the Raiders, to an 11-2 record as a senior and ranked number six in Georgia's AAAA in the final poll by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Commodore commitment talked of his beliefs in coach James Franklin and the Vanderbilt program.


"It went really well," said Ladarius Banks on the season. "It didn't end quite like I had hoped. You know, I wanted to go out with a state championship.

"I had a lot of fun with my teammates. I felt I provided the team with strong senior leadership. We made it to the third round of the playoffs. It was a good season, but now that's it's over I'm preparing myself for the next level."

Originally from Miami, Banks played his freshman year at Northwestern on a state runner-up team. He then moved with his family to the Atlanta area and enrolled at East Paulding.

Banks committed to Vanderbilt in May prior to his senior year. He went on to have an outstanding season making first team All-County and second in the Defensive Player of the Year voting.

"We ran a three-four defensive," Banks said. "I was at nose guard head-up with the center. My job was to be disruptive and stir things up in the middle.

"I had close to 70 tackles, but most were assists. I think I had six sacks. I got in the backfield and dismantled a lot of plays. I loved playing against spread teams that ran the shotgun."

Charles Bankins recruited Banks to Vanderbilt. He stays in close contact with him as well as his future position coach, Sean Spencer.

"The coaches originally liked me at the three-technique," Banks said, "but the more Coach Spencer watched my film and saw how well I dominated at the nose he thought I could play one-technique. I told him I was willing to play wherever. Let's lock up and load."

Banks made it to Nashville during the season for the Commodore games with Georgia and Kentucky. He was impressed with what he saw and is looking forward to the watching the Liberty Bowl with his family.

"It was lovely," Banks said of the Vanderbilt season. "If you look at the games we lost, we were in every one of them. In the next few years, we're going to take over the SEC. If you were to ask any of this year's recruits, the main goal is to take it to the next level. It's Vandy's time."

Banks is planning his official visit to Vanderbilt on January 20th when many of the recruits also plan to visit. He did spend an evening recently with Coach Franklin during an in-home visit.

"It was a real nice time," Banks said. "We laughed about the whole process and talked about what I'm supposed to do from now until signing day.

"Right now I'm just training like crazy. The coaches stress getting in shape to get stronger and faster and build from there. It's my goal to be the most well-conditioned defensive lineman at camp next summer."

At the time of his commitment in May, Banks held offers from Illinois, Cincinnati, Southern Miss, Troy, and Florida International. James Franklin sold him on the Vanderbilt turnaround even before the season began.

"Coach Franklin is taking the program in a direction it hasn't been in for years," said Banks on his commitment. "My Mom and Dad stress to me football isn't forever.

"At Vanderbilt you come away with a reputable degree. Coach Franklin has preached early playing time. It's every high school's player dream to come in and make an immediate impact. The location is perfect for my parents to come watch me play. It's only three hours away. I can't wait."

Banks will have a ceremony at his high school on National Signing Day with teammate Andrej Suttles who is expected to sign with Furman.

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