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January 22, 2013

Banking on Baylor?

As the 2012 season finished, Bryan coach Ross Rogers decided to do some experimenting. He looked at the versatile V.J Banks and decided to play him at cornerback.

Now, the secondary isn't unfamiliar territory for the 2014 prospect, who also spent part of 2012 playing wide receiver and return specialist. He played safety in 2011. Banks appeared to take to the new position naturally. In the finale against College Park, Banks collected two interceptions and had two other pass breakups in the 32-7 win.

"This was different than safety because I had to play man coverage the whole way,'' Banks said. "But I didn't feel uncomfortable at all.''

And that's just a sampling of what college programs could expect. Banks (6-1, 175) officially moved into recruiting status when he learned Tuesday Baylor invited him to its Feb. 2 Junior Day. Baylor hasn't offered. But that's what these junior days are for. Sometimes, the more looks a prospect receives, the better his chances become. Banks has also been to the Nike camp Feb. 23 in Houston.

"Coach [Phil] Bennett came to my school last Friday and then talked to coach Rogers and told him that I was invited,'' Banks said. "It's really my first college experience and definitely exciting taking to the next level. I just want to get the coaches attention.''

Banks definitely has the frame that college programs are gravitating toward in their secondary. They want long and fast. Banks also runs track, which is something that always attracts the Baylor coaches.

A high jumper, he has a personal best of 6-4. He competed in the Class 5A Regional meet last May. Banks will also run a leg in the 4x100 and 4x200 relay teams. His best time in the 40 is 4.6. However, he's dedicated his offseason to knocking off that all-important tenth and to shave it below 4.5 when he reaches college.

"That's pretty much all I've been doing is working on my lower body,'' Banks said. "I'm doing a bunch of power cleans and squats and doing some hamstring work. I'm trying to tighten my stride. But I'll get there.''

When he arrives, Banks hopes to meet up with former teammate Chris Johnson. Johnson just began the spring semester at Baylor a week ago.

Meanwhile Banks will continue to devote his offseason to his track. There has been some talk that he will take over for Johnson at quarterback. However, that may not be settled because of his potential future in the secondary.

"I think my strengths are my closing speed and covering space,'' he said. "I'm going to take advantage of every opportunity I get.''







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