Kansas State is still searching for answers at the quarterback position. With Jesse Ertz, Alex Delton and Joe Hubener all failing to gain any serious separation, a new name has been thrown into the mix: Jonathan Banks. He is a four-star recruit per RIVALS.com and with his commitment last month, became the second four-star player the Cats have landed for the 2015 season.
Banks, a dual-threat quarterback from Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California could be the missing piece the Cats are still looking for. He will have three seasons of eligibility remaining at K-State, and is expected to be eligible this season. He had also received offers from Utah and Kansas.
Standing in at 6 foot 3 and weighing 215 pounds, the Houston native received division 1 offers out of high school, but mostly for defensive back and wide receiver. Banks decided to pursue his interest in the quarterback position and attend junior college.
Last season, Banks made it clear that he’s capable of making an impact at quarterback, passing for nearly 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also proved his worth as a dual-threat, rushing for 700 yards and 11 touchdowns while being named Northern California Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
The addition of Banks is huge for Bill Snyder and the Wildcats, but I still have my concerns. If this move is any indication, it’s clear that Snyder hasn’t seen enough from the other quarterbacks on the roster to feel comfortable for the upcoming season. But, the late addition of Banks could be the missing piece the team needs to intensify the QB battle.
That being said, no matter how impressive Banks is this summer, it’s difficult to see him landing the starting job by the Sept. 5 opener against South Dakota. Banks enters a QB race that has been ongoing for several months, and will have little time to develop within the offense. Also, Ertz and Hubener have spent years in the playbook, while the true freshman Delton has a few month head start on Banks. I’m not saying that Banks should be ruled out as a candidate to start the season, but he definitely has a lot to learn these next several weeks. At the very least, Banks’ athleticism and presence will up the competition for Ertz, Delton, and Hubener to prove their worth to Snyder and the rest of the coaching staff.
Banks brings to the table several qualities the Cats lost with the departure of Daniel Sams in 2014. Sams brought an extra dimension to the Wildcat offense with his speed and elusiveness while proving to be a difficult player to defend in combination with Jake Waters. Snyder has shown that he can be open to a two QB system if needed. Assuming Banks doesn’t surprise and land the starting job right away, I can see him taking on a similar role in the offense to get his feet wet in 2015.
Continuing through the summer, Snyder will have plenty of pieces to work with. Snyder has proven time and time again that no one gets more from their players than he does. In terms of Banks, his development will be monumental to the success of K-State program. While he may not be under center September 5, learn the name Jonathan Banks, and learn it fast, because he will quickly become a household name in Manhattan. It’s just another confirmation that the present and future are bright for Kansas State football.
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