Nebraska saw Brant Banks playing defense. Now the Texas native sees himself playing for the Huskers.
The 6-foot-7, 265-pound Banks announced his commitment to NU on Wednesday, more than three months after taking an official visit to Lincoln for the canceled Akron game. While most schools viewed the Houston Westbury Christian School standout as an offensive lineman — every recruiting service lists him as a three-star O-tackle — Husker coaches see him as an athletic defensive end who can grow into the position.
Banks will enroll in classes at Nebraska in January.
Flanked by parents Todd and Randa along with his brother, Banks made his decision known during a live broadcast on Houston's ABC affiliate. He pulled a Nebraska hat from an Amazon box to cheers and hugs from the gathered crowd.
"It wasn't really the flashy weight rooms or the cool locker rooms," Banks said during the broadcast. "It was more the people there. Every school has nice facilities and everything, but I just really felt that I fit in with the people there, and they're great people and they were honest and kind. It was just a great feeling when I was up there."
He becomes the third true defensive end in the 2019 class for Nebraska, joining Mosai Newsom (Waverly, Iowa) and Ethan Piper (Norfolk Catholic). Commits Garrett Nelson (Scottsbluff) and Jamin Graham (Attalla, Alabama) are projected outside linebackers who also predominantly played D-end in high school.
"It's weird, I've played defensive end my whole life, way more than I have offensive line," Banks told The World-Herald this fall. "Defense is good because you get to hit people."
Banks said Wednesday he'd be happy playing either side of the ball depending on how he develops physically. But he's thrilled to start working toward a Blackshirt.
The 23rd commit and 21st player to officially sign with Nebraska's 2019 class is also the first from the state of Texas.
Banks was an aspiring college basketball player until he began receiving Power Five scholarship offers in football. He took an official visit to Missouri in October but canceled one to Baylor in November and instead hosted visiting Nebraska coaches Scott Frost, Mike Dawson (D-line) and Greg Austin (O-line). Banks made multiple trips to Lincoln along with the visit for the Sept. 1 opener.
Still, Banks said, his recruitment took time to catch up since he sat out his sophomore season after transferring to his current school. But colleges eventually couldn't ignore his formidable frame, which he combines with plus-footwork and field vision.
"I think the intrigue was he's so athletic for his size," Westbury coach Mark Krimm told The World-Herald in September. "What you want are big, raw athletes. He's being evaluated as a really big-bodied athlete that probably any college coach and college strength program can get a hold of and mold into a really great football player. Especially a place like Nebraska, which is Outland (Trophy) University."
Krimm said Banks dominates games with his motor and sometimes needs reminding to throttle back against smaller players in practice. Known as the guy with long blond hair who drives a Jeep, he received interest from Ivy League schools and service academies for his work off the field too.
"I think he's a can't-miss football player," Krimm said. "But he's a can't-miss guy that's just an addition to someone's campus."
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Photos: Nebraska football's 2019 recruiting class
Check out photos of each member of Nebraska football's 2019 recruiting class.