Visit Report - Zach Banner

SEATTLE - Zach Banner, a 6-foot-9, 330-pound offensive lineman from Lakes High School in Lakewood, Wash. has been effusive about all three of his previous official visits - to Michigan, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma. spoke Sunday night with Banner, and he was just as excited about his latest official visit - to the University of Washington.

"I have to give it a 12," Banner said. "I saw what it was like to be a U-Dub Husky. I think that's the one thing I had never seen before, never got the full feeling. For 48 hours, you're part of the team; you can relate to everybody and talk with everybody and joke around. It was a good experience.

"Cory English was there, and Nathan (Dean) - those two are funny. Jeff (Lindquist) is always a kick and goofy. I got to kick it with Dwayne a lot - Dwayne Washington. That dude is a real cool guy. Keivare and Jason are funny, and Jared Afalava - that dude is pretty cool too."

Banner started his visit Friday morning, and his UW player host was a familiar face - Austin Seferian-Jenkins. "We just had a good time all weekend," he said of his time hanging out with the freshman tight end. "We were friends before this whole recruiting thing started."

Banner added that the ratio of clowning to serious recruiting talk was about '90/1'. Zach was able to take his family - including his mother Vanessa, father Ron, and little sister - along for parts of the visit, and he said they all 'loved it'.

So what's next for Zach? Even though his football is done at Lakes without the state title he so coveted, he looks back at no regrets. "It was a good way to go out, I think," he said of the Lancers' quarterfinal loss to eventual 3A champs Bellevue. "It wasn't the way everyone wanted, of course. But I have to say that I had a good career at Lakes and a good time also playing football. To get another shot playing basketball just makes it more better, it makes me hungrier."

Even in defeat, Banner exudes the confidence of a champion. "They are a good football team," he said of Bellevue. "It killed us a lot. We really felt like when it comes if we were to race one of them or challenge them to a lifting competition or skill set, we would have destroyed them. But as a team, they got the better of us that day, and I think they understood that. We didn't back down like everyone else did; we fought until the last second."

Perhaps Banner and the Lancers will get the better of the Wolverines on the hardwood; Lakes won the 3A title in 2011. "We're 1-0 right now," he said, noting that he's in roughly '80 percent basketball shape'. "We beat Clover Park two weeks ago. I had 20 (points) and 11 (rebounds) and I dunked on somebody. The whole crowd was going nuts. It was packed. The whole place was shocked."

The Lancers will be playing Union on 12/21 in a tournament that also features Franklin and Lincoln. "And after we win that, we'll play Franklin and Lincoln," Banner said, matter-of-factly.

And the whole time, Banner will be thinking about recruiting. He's already visited Michigan (9/10), Oklahoma (9/24), and Notre Dame (10/22), and he told Dawgman Sunday that his last visit will be to USC, starting January 13th. Then as soon as he gets back home, he goes right back to Washington to play Garfield January 16th in the King Holiday Hoopfest.

And then expect an announcement at Lakes sometime shortly thereafter, with Banner letting the world know his college choice. "I'll talk to my family, the staff as my school, and my coaches," he said.

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