Dekaney (Spring, Texas) cornerback Marcus Banks received his All-American Bowl jersey Thursday morning at his school as part of the All-American Bowl Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
“It’s always been a dream of mine, since I was little,” Banks told USA TODAY following the ceremony. “It was a great feeling having all my supporters, all my teammates, here to support me for the presentation.
“I got a little emotional with happiness, tears of joy, because this has always been a dream of mine. It was just a great feeling overall.”
MORE: All-American Bowl Selection Tour
The 6-foot, 170-pound Banks, a four-star recruit, is ranked by 247 Sports as one of the nation’s 30 best coverage corners, and the No. 32 overall prospect in the Lone Star State. Often left on an island as the Wildcats’ premier defensive back, Banks flourished in man-to-man coverage, racking up just one interception this fall but more than a dozen passes defensed.
Banks says he made great strides on the cerebral side of the game this season, and that’s evident in these highlights below. Opposing receivers trying to stack him often found themselves swallowed up whole at the top of their route, while others trying to beat Banks with an outside release often found themselves pinned against the sideline, forcing phone-booth throws that even the best high school quarterbacks have difficulty making:
“I think more of the mental side of my game improved — little things like your alignment, not necessarily the speed and strength and how high you can jump and all that,” Banks said. “Just knowing the game, understanding where I’m at on the field, understanding in between the lines. Not a lot of football players necessarily go into that, so I’ve been getting that up on my game.
With the 5-5 Wildcats’ season complete, Banks now had a big decision on his hands. At the All-American Bowl in January, he’ll make his college decision between Florida, Florida State, Texas A&M, LSU and Alabama. He’s already taken his official visits to the latter three, while officials to Florida and FSU are scheduled for these next few weeks.
Player development and scheme fit are his top priorities with his college decision.
“I want a school that fits my scheme of play, a team that’s going to develop me the most,” he said. “I’m not necessarily caught up in winning like that — of course it’s great to win, but I just want the overall best fit for me.
“All the schools in my top five, I love the defenses they run. One thing I love about their systems is they play match man, and all I ran in high school is man coverage. That transition to college, I want to go to a school that plays a lot of man coverage, because that fits my style of play.”
The All-American Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 5 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.