Coach Wells continues to add recruits to an ever-growing 2021 class. E’maurion Banks is a strongside defensive end who put up some impressive numbers his junior year. Banks recorded 94 tackles, 20 TFL, and 14 sacks. Banks is the high school teammate of another Red Raiders 2021 commit, TE Jed Castles. The addition of Banks makes Tech’s 2021 class the 25th best in the country (as of April 22nd).
Banks is a big boy at 6-4, 260 pounds. What he lacks in speed, he makes up for in strength. He shines primarily in the pass rush, great for a conference like the Big 12 where passing is king. His pursuit of the quarterback is good. A lot of his sacks seemed to have come when the quarterback was scrambling under pressure. It’s almost like when he sees the quarterback fleeing, he finds a sixth gear and gains a lot of speed. It’s common to see this in defensive ends, but it’s especially apparent in Banks and will likely improve as he gets training at the college level. The name of the game for Banks is strength. He beat his assignment with his pure strength and go to the QB. It’s evident on the film just how strong he is. He often pushes offensive linemen back easily and causes their feet to stumble. The hands don’t seem to big part of Banks’ rush. He primarily relies on his strength and bull rushing to get to the quarterback. It’ll be interesting to see if he can use his hands or other quick moves throughout his senior season.
Banks also seems to have pretty good awareness when he is not going after the passer. He is good at recognizing screens and getting out to the receiver. The film of him making reads on the option is limited, but it seems like he is able to diagnose the play quickly. This is another important development to watch next season as he’ll need to keep up with the quick and complex offenses of the Big 12.
The one thing I’d like to see improve before he gets on the field for Texas Tech is his speed and athleticism. Again, the burst shown on his film is promising. The problem is that the no-huddle offense, a staple in the Big 12, easily gasses the most athletic guys on your defense. The longer a drive develops, the more fatigued a defense is, meaning they are less effective. The training at the college level is the most intense Banks will see. It’ll be interesting to see how much more gas he can put in the tank before the season starts.