Bankhead on the future

Keauntea Bankhead has tried his hardest to play the game the way the rules were set up. He's sacrificed time, energy and dollars to get himself in a position to make his dream come true. For the defensive back from Ballard - who signed with Washington back in February - the day of reckoning came on Tuesday.

"I got the score," Bankhead told Tuesday afternoon, referring to his SAT score needed to qualify him for entrance into the University of Washington. "I'm going to try and set up a meeting with Ty (Willingham) sometime this week. My score wasn't quite high enough from what they were telling me to get, but they said that if I could get it close they might be able to work out something. If it doesn't work out, I'll go play at Dixie (State)."

Bankhead scored a 780, claiming he needs an 830 to qualify. It's an improvement by 170 points since he first took the standardized test this past summer. "I'm close," he said. "They said that if they might be able to dock a certain amount of points based on how much I improve."

Willingham, eager to sit down with Bankhead to discuss options, has tried to reach him. "He called me earlier this week, but I was in the shower," Keauntea said. "My Dad talked to someone else there and he gave them my cell phone number. We are going to be setting up a meeting soon."

The option to attend Dixie State College, currently a four-year junior college - located in St. George, Utah - would come soon. Bankhead would leave January 9th. "Dixie is turning D2 next year. If I leave in January, I only need to stay a year. If I decided to stay and take the test again and don't go until March, I would have to go through JC anyways and stay two years. I talked to a couple of people down there and that's how they told me it works."

A former Ballard coach is going to be coaching at Dixie next year, and Bankhead would also be joining former teammate J.T. Diederichs and cousin Keandre Magee, who played his prep ball at O'Dea. Diederichs averaged 145 rushing yards per game as a freshman.

But that's a second option for Bankhead. He's still hoping to get into the University of Washington. "My auntie has been looking into things up there and my Dad has also been talking to some people outside the football offices," said Bankhead. "We're just trying to get to the point where I've been sacrificing a lot to get to this point, so I'm hoping they can help me out to get in. But I'm not expecting that to happen, because they have their own restrictions they have to work with too. With me, I'm thinking I'm going to have to go to Dixie, but I'll have a meeting with Ty and see what he says. If they can't do anything for me, that's where I'll go."

Taking the SAT again is an option Bankhead will not exercise. The next time he could take it would be January 22nd, but he will move to Utah before that happens. "I increased almost 90 points the second time I took it, then 50 points and then 30 this last time," Bankhead said of his progression. "It's like doing the bench press. You aren't going to improve as fast if you were already at 300 pounds as you would if you were 200."

Since he hasn't qualified for school, Bankhead is a recruitable athlete, but no one has called. With his future almost certainly headed south for the time being, has Bankhead been thinking about Washington's place in his future?

"I've been thinking about that a lot, actually," he said. "I feel that my heart is at the U-Dub. That's where I've been trying to get into and that's what I know. Ever since I've been in high school, I've been going to games and I've been seeing my friends come up through that program and being successful. So I think that if I go down to Dixie and play my year, and if the U-Dub still wants me I feel like I would come back home."

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