December 6, 2008
Three-star Tulane commit looking around?
Life is pretty good for D.J. Banks right now. The three-star athlete has quarterbacked the West Monroe (La.) High School offense to an undefeated season and into the 5A state championship game against fellow unbeaten, and defending state champion, Destrehan.
"I'm feeling good," Banks said. "I'm on cloud nine. Our team's playing great. It's been going great. My offensive line has been tremendous for me. They made me who I am. My coaches have coached me up well and I'm very confident in my ability and my teammates and I feel like they've put us in a position to succeed."
West Monroe will have a tough task ahead of it next Saturday night when they face Destrehan in the state championship game. Both teams are nationally renowned and the game will be highly anticipated.
"They're a great team and have great athletes," he said. "They made it to the state championship for a reason. They've gotta be a good team."
As good as Banks is feeling right now, it hasn't all been good news. Banks committed to Tulane back in August and a big reason for that commitment was the personal relationship and trust that he had built with defensive coordinator O'Neil Gilbert. Recently, Banks found out that Gilbert had been relieved of his duties as defensive coordinator.
"I heard some bad news that Coach Gilbert got fired and my options are still open," he said. "I'm still committed and I'm interested in other options now. He was a big part of my commitment there, him and his family. It was a personal thing also."
Though he is still committed, Banks wants to clear some things up if he is to sign with the Green Wave in February.
"I really just maybe want to get down there and see what's going on," he said. "I fee like they have a pretty good coach, I just want to know what's going on. I'm not really making any major decisions. I just want to see what's going on and take it one day at a time and play it out."
In the meantime, Banks will be taking a closer look at some of the schools that have been showing him some interest of late.
"I'm interested in my backyard schools, ULM and (Louisiana) Tech," he said. "They've been showing me a lot of interest and then Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt."
The versatile Banks could wind up playing a number of different places on the field. ULM and Louisiana Tech are thinking about possibly using Banks as a quarterback or an athlete, Vanderbilt likes him as a cornerback and Georgia Tech just sees him as an athlete that will find a role.
"Lately I've been leaning towards defense because I feel like that will be my best chance of going to the next level but I just want to play wherever will make me most productive, offense or defense and on returning kicks."
Right now, Banks is focused on whatever will win his team a state championship.
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