- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Jalen Banks (Harvey, Ill./Thornton) was talking with Michigan State for quite some time, but an offer still had not come to fruition. That changed when Banks was on campus Saturday for the Spartans’ spring game.
Spartans coach Mark Dantonio, who had spoken with Banks on the phone before, called Banks into his office for a sit-down meeting before the spring game.
“He sat me down and told me I had an offer and told me what Michigan State is all about,” said Banks, who Michigan State is recruiting as a cornerback. “He likes my footwork, likes my hips and everything. He saw I can play bump-and-run coverage. He was impressed.”
It was the second time Banks visited Michigan State. The first time he came for a junior day in February, but Banks said it was hard to really get a feel for Michigan State on that trip because of the large number of recruits on campus.
On Saturday, Banks had a chance to see all the football offices and facilities and meet with members of the academic department. Banks spoke with professors in the engineering department and some academic counselors.
“This time was a lot better,” he said.
Banks also made recent visits to Iowa and Wisconsin, too. It was the first time he was in Iowa City visiting the Hawkeyes.
“Meeting the strength and conditioning coach is always one of the things I always look for on my visits,” he said. “He’s a good guy up there in Iowa. It’s a nice weight room, and they have good people in the program.”
It was the second visit Banks made to Wisconsin, and he said it was pretty much the same as his first visit. But that is not a bad thing, he said.
“They’re not trying to put on a show for anybody. They’re OK being themselves. That’s a big thing,” Banks said.
“And I got to see practice. Practice was great. Coach [Bielema] was moving around. He’s a bigger guy but he’s getting around, getting to the players and everything. It was great.”
Banks called the Badgers his leader at one point but has since backed off. Instead, he says the Badgers are a team that will be there until the end.
“When I narrow things down, Wisconsin is going to be there,” Banks said. “Vanderbilt, Illinois, Michigan State was pretty impressive. I could see myself at Iowa. All of them are great programs. It’s where I fit in the most and feel comfortable.”
517dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert