Commentary

Banner enjoys leadership role

Lakewood (Wash.) OL relishes the task of being the big man on campus

Updated: October 20, 2011, 11:50 AM ET
By Erik McKinney | We Are SC
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."

[+] EnlargeZach Banner
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comLakewood (Wash.) offensive lineman Zach Banner will be at USC-Notre Dame this weekend on an official visit.
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.

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