Offensive tackle Zach Banner isn't as intimidating as he first appears. Of course, that statement only holds true for those of us who aren't defensive ends, crouched in a three-point stance and wondering how to navigate around the 6-foot-8, 305-pound lineman. For the rest of us, and specifically the students at Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes High School, Banner is a gentle giant.
"His personality is bigger than his physicality," Lakes head coach Dave Miller said of Banner. "He's a tremendous kid. He cares about people and has a desire to excel."
Miller first glimpsed Banner as a 6-4 specimen, on track to become a star in football and basketball. Most coaches wouldn't have wasted any time in throwing a player like that out on the field and giving him a shot to crack the starting lineup. Miller didn't have that opportunity, because Banner was only in seventh grade.