UW trying to re-woo Bankhead

KEAUNTEA BANKHEAD, the one-time Washington commit who has opted for junior college and declared his intentions for Washington State, is finding that no chapter is ever really closed when it comes to recruiting. The Huskies are back knocking on his door after apparently burning their bridge with the star safety when they strongly disagreed with his decision to go JC without taking another shot at the SAT.

After a falling out over his academic plans with UW coach Ty Willingham, the Seattle PI in late January reported Bankhead would attend Washington State after earning his AA degree at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah.

Huskies assistant coach Chris Tormey, considered a golden-tongued recruiter, has been hard at work this spring to try and get the Dawgs back in Bankhead's good graces.

"He (Tormey) knew I got off to a bad start with the new coach at the UW -- and he apologized for that," said Bankhead. "He's been calling and sending mail since then."

Bankhead a Parade All-American out of Ballard High in Seattle, and rated the No. 10 safety in the nation in 2004 by Scout.com, could be eligible to transfer in time for the 2006 season.

While the UW works on getting back in the door, the cross state Cougars have continued to let Bankhead know they're very interested in him joining the Cougs and donning the crimson and gray. Defensive coordinator Robb Akey has stayed in touch with Bankhead, the two having a recent phone conversation.

"Coach Akey, he's a real cool guy," said Bankhead. "I like him a lot. He just made sure I was doing good in school."

Best friends and current Cougars Cole Morgan and Tony Thompson also remain in close contact with Bankhead and Rebels teammate J.T. Diederichs -- who signed with WSU as part of the Cougars '04 class before himself heading to Dixie State for his AA degree. The close knit quartet graduated from Ballard in 2004. WSU remains Diederichs' top choice but he's also keeping all his options open.

Bankhead has adjusted smartly to Dixie State, saying he's doing well academically and in the weight room.

An enforcer in Ballard's secondary his senior year at 200-pounds, the hard hitting safety has added another 20-pounds since then to his 6-foot frame.

Due to a lack of healthy players, Dixie State held a modified spring camp, working primarily on drills during the sessions.

"We didn't have any pads," explained Bankhead. "We just did 7 on 7."

Keauntea Bankhead profile

Bankhead was the Consensus player of the year in the state of Washington his senior year at Ballard. He is one of the hardest-hitting safety prospects to ever come out of the state.

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