Inside the PD: Denbigh's Banks commits to HU

Because of an ongoing hamstring issue, Darius Banks missed seven of Denbigh’s 10 games in his junior season. And because of that, he was an unknown among the college recruiters.

Banks made the most of his senior year, and an impressive showcase performance in January helped seal the deal. Hampton University offered on Monday, and Banks immediately accepted. He will also be running track for the Pirates.

“When I went on my visit last weekend, on Saturday, I really enjoyed it,” Banks said. “I love HU. It’s a fun place to be.

“I’m just happy to have the opportunity to play football. And I’ll be running track for them.”

Banks said HU was his only offer. Some Division II schools expressed interest, he said, “but didn’t pull the trigger.”

Banks had 45 receptions for 656 yards and 11 touchdowns last season for the Patriots, who went 8-3 and made the Group 4A playoffs. His receptions and touchdowns were second in the Peninsula District; his yards were third.

Banks made the All-Conference 18 and Group 4A South teams. He was also named to the Daily Press All-Stars.

“He was a big part of what we did offensively,” Denbigh coach Marcellus Harris III said. “Watching the Super Bowl the other night, we were comparing him to Percy Harvin. That’s the kind of speed and play-making ability he has.”

Even after his senior season, Banks was without an offer until HU’s coaching staff saw him run a 4.37 40-yard dash at the recruit757 Showcase on Jan. 20.

Banks is a sprinter on the Patriots’ track team. He won the long jump at the Boo Williams Winter Break Invitational in December.

Banks, a two-way starter on the Patriots’ 8-3 team last fall, was recruited as a slot receiver. He’s fine with that, but he’d have been fine with defensive back.

“A lot of people are surprised when I say this, but I really like playing defense,” he said. “I like hitting people. I like receiver, but I like the defensive side of the ball, too.”

Banks is the third member of Denbigh’s team to commit, following defensive end Chris Peace (Virginia) and running back Patrick Alston (Benedict College). As many as four more could follow: Quarterback Terrence Dingle, linebacker Patrick Prosser, wideout Jaquan Jenkins, and defensive end Ronald Burton.

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