One Day Stop for Banks

Although worn out by a pair of long distance recruiting trips, Thornton Township (Ill.) cornerback Jalen Banks couldn't resist a free ride to Madison Sunday for a visit with the coaching staff.

MADISON - After travelling two long distances for a pair of campus trips last week, Thornton Township (Ill.) cornerback Jalen Banks was planning on spending his Sunday relaxing and recovering.

But when one of his coaches said he was heading up to Wisconsin for the start of the Badgers' second high school summer camp, Banks couldn't resist a trip up to one of the schools on the top of his offer list.

"I hadn't been up there in awhile and I was excited for a chance to go up and visit with Coach Bielema and Coach Ash," Banks told Badger Nation. "They were glad to have me and everything. I got a chance to watch some of my Core 6 teammates camp, so it was a good day."

Making his first trip to the Wisconsin campus since the spring, the 6-0, 190-pounds Banks – a three-star athlete ranked the No.48 cornerback in the country by Scout.com – did not participate in the camp, but watch defensive back drills with Ash and had a meeting with Bielema, who said Banks is still one of top players on Wisconsin's recruiting board.

"It's a really good relationship," said Banks, who has been building his relationship with the UW staff since they offered in February. "I know they want me and they have my best interest in mind. They are good people and make me feel welcomed."

Banks also got an updated tour of the new facilities being built around the stadium, which was a night-and-day difference from his tour during February's junior day.

"It's a complete turnaround from what they have," said Banks. "It's going to be huge. They are going to have something special there."

Having offers from Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Western Michigan, Banks' Wisconsin visit is the third trip in eight days, as he stopped at Vanderbilt last weekend and spent a couple days out in Oregon earlier in the week.

"Oregon was really nice," Banks said. "The campus was really nice and everything. It was good to be out there and talk to the coaches. It was a fun experience."

Originally wanting to make his decision before his season starts, Banks' new plan is to narrow his list to a top four or five by the second week of September and take his official visits after that.

"I want some teammates to get some looks from coaches because they deserve it," Banks said. "We have some very fast, very strong players on our team and they haven't been seen. If I narrow it down after the second game, coaches will be able to come out and see them play."

Although he hasn't thought about what schools he'll take officials to, Banks knows one school's gameday atmosphere he wants to see in person.

"I want to see Camp Randall and what a game is like out there," said Banks. "I want to see that environment because I've heard it's intense."


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