Exclusive Q&A: Rookie WR Gary Banks

Troy WR Gary Banks spent the 2007 season working every day in practice against CB Leodis McKelvin, the No. 11 pick in this year's draft. Good practice makes for better production, as Banks led the Trojans with 61 catches for 698 yards and three TDs. Banks shares his thoughts on playing with the Cubs, learning from the Bolts' vets and more.

Click here for the "Insiders Only" portion of this interview, where Banks talks about transitioning from quarterback to receiver, playing better than his stats and doing his part to help the Chargers reach the Super Bowl.

Michael Kranzler: You spent three years in the Chicago Cubs minor league system. What made you decide to come back and play college football?

Gary Banks: Well the main reason is that I started switch-hitting at the end of my first season there and I just struggled with that. It came to that point in my career with the Cubs that I figured that I was time to just leave baseball alone and go back to school because I knew I had that option.

MK: What made you choose to sign with the Cubs out of high school instead of playing football for UAB as originally planned?

GB: I saw at as an opportunity that I just couldn't pass up on. Within my contract, I had the option that if I came back to go to school, the Cubs would have to pay for eight semesters of college. I knew I had that backup plan, so I figured I would just go out and try it. If it worked, it worked, but if it didn't, I knew I had the option to come back and go to school.

MK: I know you were a right fielder in the Cubs system, but have you had your fastball clocked recently? What would you guess your speed would be?

GB: I don't know. Maybe high-80s, low 90s. I didn't have a really strong arm, I was just accurate more than anything.

MK: Have any of the veteran receivers started to mentor you on the field?

GB: Yeah, in the minicamp we had a lot of the guys helping out. Vincent Jackson, Chris Chambers, Malcolm Floyd, a lot of those guys. If I needed to ask any questions, they were willing to answer them. From day one, those guys were really receptive.

MK: What do you like to do in your free time?

GB: Mostly, I just like to sit around the house and relax, but I do like to be outdoors a little bit. I like to fish and things like that, but for the most part I like to lounge around the house.

MK: What's the biggest fish you ever caught?

GB: I caught a nine-pound bass two or three years ago.

MK: What do you feel you need to improve on most in order to give yourself a realistic shot to make this team?

GB: I think just understanding the scheme that the Chargers run, just being as perfect as possible in running routes, and also catching the ball and not missing assignments. A receiver can't drop balls, and you need to know what you're doing out on the field. Also, special teams, you can't rule out that. If I can do those things, I have a good chance of making this team.

Click here for the "Insiders Only" portion of this interview, where Banks talks about transitioning from quarterback to receiver, playing better than his stats and doing his part to help the Chargers reach the Super Bowl.

Click here for a Q&A with Troy offensive coordinator Neil Brown regarding Banks.


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