Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 14, 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 16 of 55 NOV. 14, 2020 17 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 42-26 win. Banks explained that his basket- ball skills, and some occasional cross training during practice between guard and tackle, made the tempo- rary position switch an easy one. "There's not too much of a differ- ence. I think switching sides would be a little different, or maybe a little more difficult," Banks explained. "But as far as bumping out, we work on playing guard and tackle through- out camp and throughout the year for instances like that. "When somebody goes down, you've got to move guys around." VERSATILE, ADAPTABLE Known as a gentle giant because of his personality off the field and as the "Dancing Bear" because of his nimble- ness on it — an affectionate nickname coined by former Notre Dame offen- sive coordinator Chip Long — Banks defines a lead-by-example player. It's a style that his teammates ap- preciate and emulate. "I love watching Banks play," Hain- sey said when asked what makes his teammate and former understudy so special, "because I know every time he goes out there, he's just going out there with everything he has. That's what he brings, the tenacity. "And obviously, he's a massive, massive human. He can't be stopped when he's in the zone." Hainsey's point is well made. At 6-6 and 330 pounds, Banks is 13 pounds heavier than any other Irish offensive lineman. Yet, versatility and adapt- ability make Banks one of the premier offensive guards in the country and presumably an early round NFL Draft pick when the time comes. Banks succinctly said last month that his future plans can wait. But given that this rising star has two years of eligibility remaining after this season — and would likely take Eichenberg's starting left tackle spot in 2021 — the question is worth asking. Athlon Sports considers Banks a lock to be selected whenever he comes out, but believes returning in 2021 could help improve his draft stock. "If he can increase his mobility a bit, he's the type of mauler NFL teams like on the interior," the magazine assessed. Offensive line requires more physi- cal and technical development than any position group. And thanks to an abbreviated three-month military-style workout under Malu three years ago — and an insatiable desire from Banks to build off it — the Dancing Bear will soon be strutting onto an NFL roster. "He's such a talented player," Malu explained. "Players with his size and athletic ability don't come along very often, and he's making the most of his abilities and opportunities." ✦ At 6-6 and 330 pounds, Banks is Notre Dame's biggest and, arguably, most versatile offensive lineman. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME ATHLETICS "I love watching Banks play because I know every time he goes out there, he's just going out there with everything he has. That's what he brings, the tenacity." SENIOR RIGHT TACKLE ROBERT HAINSEY ON BANKS

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