Coach Spotlight: Josh Banks
"Josh is easy going, well-mannered, and just a good person," Crocker said. "He's not only my best player on the defensive line, but my hardest worker. Josh has such a strong drive to push himself to get better. He'll never take a break going as hard as he can until he can't go anymore."
Banks, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive lineman with 4.8-40 speed, had a breakout junior season making both All-Conference (North Carolina 4A Tri-Nine) and All- Area for Raleigh-Durham.
"Josh started as a sophomore and had a really good year, but his junior year was exceptional," said Crocker. "Coaches were calling asking for film on Jon Moore, Kevin Jones, and Darius Wilkins.
"We sent film on Banks and said take a look. They started to take notice in a hurry and would call back and say, ‘hey can I talk to Banks'. He became our top prospect very quickly."
After going to combines during the spring and camps in early summer, Banks made a mid-July commitment to Wake Forest. Recruiting was starting to pick up with several top programs showing serious interest.
"I was in the office talking to the Maryland coach just a couple of days before (the commitment)," said Crocker. "He asked me if there was a timetable on Banks' decision. I told him I had no idea, but I didn't think it would be anytime soon. He called me to tell me he committed to Wake Forest. When he was on campus, he said it felt like home. He said that he loved the coaches, the players, and the University, and there was no need to wait."
Crocker runs a 4-3 defense at Middle Creek and is using Banks on the inside of the defensive line this season due to his size. Most project Banks to play defensive end at the college level.
"He's big and fast enough to play outside, and he has played there before," said Crocker. "His technique off the ball and his athleticism make him hard to contain. When he gets in the backfield he causes havoc. I like him out there pressing the quarterback. He's a hard guy to get away from."
The Middle Creek Mustangs have played two games already winning their first against Durham Northern, but losing by a field goal to Durham Southern. The coaches have been impressed with Banks' new role as a vocal leader on the team.
"It's funny I was just talking to my D-line coach about how some guys fall back on their past notoriety. Josh is working even harder this year like he's not committed and has no offers. He's still going 100 miles-per-hour.
"As a coach Josh has many of the things you want to see in your athletes. He's never in any trouble. He's someone you can depend on both on the field and in practice. And he's a leader by example."
Josh Banks wears No. 40 for the Middle Creek Mustangs. They'll face Fuquay-Varina on September 2nd in hopes of redeeming a five point loss from last season.
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