Bankhead's path takes surprising turn

KEAUNTEA BANKHEAD, a 2004 Parade All-American and former Husky signee who has said for two years he'd like to be a Cougar, finds himself in unusual academic territory with his junior college transcript. As a result, the one-time Ballard High star said Monday, he's not sure whether he's heading east or west. One way or another, though, he plans to be in uniform this fall.

Bankhead said Monday afternoon that he will not be joining Washington State as planned, nor any other D-IA school.

"I sat down with my counselor and he told me I needed a certain amount of college level classes. I have the credits and stuff but some of them aren't college level so they won't count towards my AA which I need to be able to transfer. So the amount of classes needed was too many to be able to get in for this fall and I don't want to sit out anymore," said Bankhead.

Bankhead intends to enroll at a school in time to take to the field this fall, with Central Washington and Western Washington two of the more likely candidates.

"So now I'm just going to try and get into a Division II school. I'll probably still stay in Washington, though, and I'll probably go to Central or to Western. I'm supposed to meet with the Central coach tomorrow and I'll see how that goes. But I'm also going to call Western and see what they're talking about up there too. I just don't want to sit out any more and waste any more time," he said.

Bankhead had returned to Seattle last year to attend junior college after enrolling at Dixie State in January 2005. He sat out the '06 football season with the plan being to earn his AA degree and preserve a year of eligibility, with 3-to-play-3.

BANKHEAD SAID Cougar assistant and recruiting area coach Mike Levenseller is aware of the situation.

"Levy had come to the school and sat down with the counselor and me, so he knows the same thing I know," said Bankhead.

Bankhead said he hadn't been in contact with Washington, the school he originally signed with in February of 2004, for some time.

"No, I haven't heard from them in quite a while, I haven't talked to them recently at all," he said.

BANKHEAD'S FRESHMAN YEAR at Dixie State saw him second on the team in both tackles and tackles for loss. During that '05 season, Bankhead logged 66 tackles (43 solo) from his safety spot, 9.5 of which were tackles for loss. He logged one quarterback sack, five pass interceptions, five pass breakups and three fumble recoveries, and also added another 427 return yards on kickoff and punt returns.

At Ballard his senior season, Bankhead was the consensus player of the year in Washington state and a Parade All-American, rated the No. 10 safety in the nation coming out of high school by During his senior season in 2003, Bankhead amassed 78.5 tackles, (66 solo) while recording 10 tackles for loss with five sacks. Offensively, he lit up scoreboards to the tune of 2,459 all-purpose yards and 27 TDs.

Keauntea Bankhead profile

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