The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their college careers, as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent.
For the Class of 2018, reloading in the defensive backfield wasn't quite as important as it was in the previous year, but under Greg Schiano's leadership you really never know who could be primed for an early jump to the National Football League. That's why the addition of four-star cornerback Sevyn Banks is a welcome sight for one of the country's most talented secondaries.
The Banks File
- Class: 2018
- Size: 6-foot-1, 180 pounds
- Pos: CB
- School: Jones (Orlando, FL)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: 26 (CB)
The country's No. 26 corner holds offers from programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and LSU, but his recruitment was a relatively quiet one due to an injury that took place during the 2016 season and his subsequent pledge – that he never wavered on – to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes.
Most expected the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder to end up playing for the in-state Gators. After all, his older brother Marcell Harris plays defensive back in Gainesville and the Florida campus is less than two hours from his hometown of Orlando.
The four-star had identified Florida as his "dream school" way back in January when they extended an offer. The Buckeyes offered about a week later and were followed by the other national powers. Many were caught off guard this past April when news broke of his commitment to Ohio State.
The Under Armour All-American bounced back this season after the aforementioned torn ACL kept him out all of his junior year. He wasted no time showing off his athleticism following the recovery. Banks recorded a Nike Plus Rating of 128.58, which was a top-10 score nationally. His 4.50 laser-timed forty was the second-fastest time among defensive backs and a vertical of 41.7 inches was tops among the 300+ competitors.
41.7 Inch Vert pic.twitter.com/UsFWYttV43— Sevoo #7 (@BanksNiko) April 10, 2017
The Buckeyes really made this one a priority in the spring. Banks was in Columbus for the spring game and Kerry Coombs then wasted no time getting back down to Orlando's Jones High School. Shortly thereafter, the deed was done and the Buckeyes' had their first cornerback commitment for the 2018 class.
Banks has the size and athleticism that the Buckeye secondary has grown accustomed to At 6-foot-1, he's got the height to matchup against bigger wideouts, but he also has the athleticism to stick with the shiftier ones as well.
Banks reads the eyes of the quarterback well and makes plays on the ball, not the receiver. He takes chances, which sometimes leads to a big play for the offense, but it's just as likely to result in a game-changing interception for the defense.
Like most high school corners, he uses his athleticism to get the job done more so than technique. He has to work on his footwork, strength and tackling form at the next level, but those things can continue to be improved and refined.
“I just felt like Ohio State can help me develop into the great athlete I know I can be,” Banks said. “Coach Greg [Schiano] and Coach Urban [Meyer], they can help take me to the next level.”– Via USA Today Sports
Denzel Ward is likely gone after this season, and right now I'd say the expectation is that Jeffrey Okudah takes on the role as the next great Ohio State cornerback. The other spot is likely to be locked up by Damon Arnette and/or Kendall Sheffield, but both of them have been vulnerable thus far in their careers. Shaun Wade will look to bounce back from his abdomen surgery, and he too is expected to be in the mix for 2018. Guys like Amir Riep and Marcus Williamson also will get a shot for playing time.
So what does this mean for Sevyn Banks and his first season in Columbus? It means that he's very likely to benefit from a redshirt season, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. He's about 180 pounds right now, so he'll look to add some strength under Mickey Marotti before being ready to try and lock down receivers at the line of scrimmage. There's always the chance for some special teams impact, though, as many talented defenders made their first impact on kick coverage.
Banks is expected to enroll in January, and there's no question that he brings some major athleticism to the secondary; even if his skill set isn't on display early on in 2018.