Banks is Badgers' Top Target

With Wisconsin looking to sign at least one cornerback but seeing two of its targets commit elsewhere, the Badgers will likely put even more effort into their recruitment of Illinois cornerback Jalen Banks.

MADISON - With cornerbacks Devin Butler and Tre Bell taking themselves off the market in the last four days, the University of Wisconsin has seen its options for talented cornerbacks cut nearly in half. It could be a moot point if all the mail and phone calls the staff has placed to Harvey Thornton (Ill.) cornerback Jalen Banks.

Offered at Wisconsin's junior day, the 6-0, 190-pounds cornerback has been getting a heavy push from the UW coach Bret Bielema, defensive coordinator Chris Ash and the rest of the Wisconsin coaching staff. "The coaching staff has been talking to me quite a bit and let me know how much they value me as a player and a person," Banks told Badger Nation. "Me and my parents sat down with Coach Bielema before he offered me and told me they were only going to sign 10 guys this year, so it's really an honor to get the offer."

Banks – a three-star recruit ranked the No.33 cornerback in the country by Scout.com - estimates he gets something in the mail from Wisconsin on a daily basis and talks with the coaching staff at least twice a week. The message is usually the same: he is their top guy.

"Coach Ash talks to my parents all the time, so he definitely has caught my parents' eye," said Banks. "My dad hears from Coach Bielema often. I'll talk to Coach Ash often over the phone and through email, so I hope to make it up there again soon."

Banks finished with five pass breakups and five interceptions, but a high ankle sprain complete with some ligament tears cost him three games.

"We had a young team and we have a lot of guys coming back," said Banks. "I started off real strong, playing both ways, until I got injured. The injury kind of hurt me, but getting out to the combines helped me recover."

Banks has offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Western Michigan and has been getting strong interest from Georgia Tech, Michigan State and Missouri. Banks doesn't have a list of favorites and hopes to make a decision following his summer camps, but he knows one school that definitely will be involved.

"Wisconsin has won back-to-back championships and having gone to back-to-back Rose Bowls, it's definitely a school I have to consider," said Banks. "It's a great campus, a beautiful city, great team and some of the best athletics-academics combination in the Big Ten."


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