Illini Loss is Broncos Gain

Recently Western Michigan University Broncos and new head coach Bill Cubit landed a recruit that had verbally committed to the University of Illinois but remained unsigned past the National Letter of Intent signing day this past February.

Illinois head coach Ron Zook had decided to wait to sign Kennard Banks because there was a question about his academic eligibility. According to Banks Coach Zook wanted to Gray Shirt Banks instead of signing to a scholarship. However Banks didn't want to go that route.

Mark Stampini, who works with Junior College transfers and kids that don't qualify in the West Palm Beach, Florida area to help them find the right college said, "Illinois was going to sign him. Then they called him and said he can't sign." Banks added, "I verbally committed to Illinois before I went on my visit. On National Signing Day, he (Zook) called and wanted to Gray Shirt me."

The 5'10" 180 pound cornerback from Dwyer High School is a full qualifier and scored a 980 on the SAT and plans on majoring in either sports management or business. "Kennard qualified," said Stampini. Banks runs a 40 in 4.53 and recorded 7 interceptions in 2004. He earned 1st Team All County and All Area and 3rd Team All State. His 7 interceptions led all defenders in Palm Beach County.

Banks had several Big Ten schools interested in him, "I was looking at Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Boise State," he said. "I chose Western Michigan University because I like it better. I felt I fit better."

Banks is in Kalamazoo now doing some running, lifting weights and agility drills getting ready for summer camp, waiting for August 12 when everyone reports for camp. "Kalamazoo is a very mellow city. It's a nice and quiet area." He said.

After meeting with the coaches he was rather impressed. "It's more serious and they are expecting a lot out of us. I think we are going to be coached better this year."

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