Moments ago, Ohio State added another key piece to its highly ranked 2018 recruiting class, bringing another talented prospect in to Urban Meyer’s program. What will the Buckeyes’ latest verbal bring to Columbus on, and off, the field?
The Buckeyes added a new verbal pledge to their 2018 recruiting class on Wednesday night as 4-star CB Sevyn Banks committed to Ohio State. He picked the Buckeyes out of a group that included Florida, LSU and almost 20 other offers.
What are they getting from this big new addition? Let’s take a look.
As a football player
Kerry Coombs and Ohio State — since the arrival of former defensive coordinator Chris Ash in 2014 — have made no secret about their preference for tall, rangy cornerbacks. Banks, the Orlando (Fla.) Jones High product, fits that mold to a T. He’s 6 feet 1 and a solid 180 pounds, is viewed as having a high football IQ, and, prior to a knee injury that cost him his junior season, was regarded as an explosive athlete.
Banks has long strides, so his 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash doesn’t always look like a guy going full speed. He holds offers from schools all over the country, including LSU, Florida, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Florida State. His brother, Marcell Harris, is a safety at Florida. So there’s football in his blood.
Ultimately, what Ohio State gets out of Banks is dependent on his recovery from that ACL injury he suffered a year ago. So far, that seems to be going well.
From Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel last week:
“It was tough but he’s such an energetic guy, happy-go-lucky, such a cheerleader by nature,” Jones head coach Elijah Williams said. “I think it makes it a little easier when you are part of a team that has success, but he handled it pretty well. He was never down and he knew he had another year.
“He bounced back full-throttle. Now he has his choice of where he wants to go.”
Banks has said the knee seems stronger than ever. He proved that at a recent Nike combine, where he turned in the third-best performance among more than 300 competitors with a score of 128.58. His split numbers were impressive for a kid coming off ACL rehab. Banks had a 41.7-inch vertical leap, and ran times of 4.50-seconds for the 40-yard dash and 4.32 in the 5-10-5-yard shuttle run.
High upside, but with a little inherent risk. That’s the player on the field.
His role in the 2018 recruiting class
Ohio State signed four top-of-the-line cornerbacks in its 2017 class and has been very selective thus far in 2018 at the position. Banks’ commitment comes as a bit of a surprise for that reason, as it’s relatively early in the process. It should be noted, though, that he is less than two weeks removed from his first visit to Ohio State, where he spent the April 15 weekend watching the Buckeyes’ spring game.
The ninth commitment for Ohio State, Banks checks in as 247Sports’ 201st-ranked player in his class, which almost unbelievably places him 115 places lower than any of the other eight Ohio State verbals. He’s the third defensive back to pull the trigger for the Buckeyes, joining 4-star safeties Jaiden Woodbey and Josh Proctor, as Coombs and Greg Schiano continue to stockpile talent in the back half of the defense. Ohio State is likely to take four or five defensive backs, so things will get very tight moving forward in this regard, but the Buckeyes remain a major player in the recruitment of 5-star CBs Anthony Cook and Patrick Surtain Jr., among others.
As the second commitment in two days (Georgia 4-star DE Brenton Cox committed on Tuesday), the Buckeyes have drawn even closer to Penn State as they look to overtake the Nittany Lions as the Big Ten’s premier recruiting class for 2018.
The off-the-field, intangible-type stuff
When you go into Florida and land a player who holds offers from the Gators and Seminoles, landing that player is a good thing. Yes, similar to how Ohio State operates within its borders, there are times when the home-state schools may be a bit less aggressive for a player so close to them — but that doesn’t devalue the addition for the Buckeyes.
Banks’ injury history may very well have a positive effect on his career moving forward, as well. Oftentimes a player who hasn’t endured any difficulties on the field has a more difficult time transitioning to the college game — or at least the rigors of the workouts and physical nature of the game at a higher level. Banks isn’t likely to have that issue. In fact, he may have been made stronger by the injury.
Again from Hays:
The rehab just made him stronger, but Banks said he also grew up a lot in the past year.
“It just made me mature more and to just keep working and not taking anything for granted,” Banks said.
His mother is just glad her son is nearing the end of the grueling rehab process.
“The kids were stronger than I was. They were just ready to get back and it was more them trying to uplift me,” Tate said looking back on the two injuries. “It’s definitely something that impacts you for a moment, but you just have to have faith and fight through it.
How Banks bounces back in his senior season is going to be an interesting story to follow.