Film Study: Notre Dame OL enrollee Aaron Banks
OL Aaron Banks, 6-7, 315; El Cerrito (Calif.) High.
The numbers: Banks helped clear the way for an El Cerrito offense that averaged 29.4 points per game. The Gauchos (8-4) lost in the second round of the CIF-North Coast Section Division 3 playoffs.
The rankings: Rivals – Four stars, No. 13 OT. 247Sports – Four stars, No. 23 OT.
First impression: Banks is a massive offensive lineman. He has the coveted size but his technique is flawed. Once developed beyond a raw prospect, Banks could be a bludgeoning force on the offensive line.
Strengths: Banks sure does like to throw his weight around. The big man doesn’t need a lot of momentum to take a guy to the ground. He works hard to finish blocks even if that requires pushing a guy all the way off the screen. Banks blocks down inside of him well, and easily wipes defensive lineman down the line of scrimmage. He’s also shown the mobility to pull and connect with targets in space. Banks showed his predilection for physicality by playing on the defensive line as well.
Proof of prowess: (:14) That poor defensive end. Banks drives back the defender relentlessly until putting him on his back 18 yards down the field. Banks needs to keep his hands inside to lessen the chance of a holding penalty, but his determination is impressive …(10:20) Banks nimbly pulls to his left and patiently works his way into the heart of the defense. He finds a linebacker who tries to duck under his block, but Banks maintains leverage and pushes him backward … (10:41) Banks works seamlessly with his guard in pass protection. He starts to help with the defensive end, but when he recognizes the blitz coming to the outside, he adjusts and stonewalls the linebacker.
Competition level: The El Cerrito schedule consisted mainly of teams in the Oakland area. Banks rarely played against players his caliber and certainly not with his size and strength. The best team El Cerrito faced, according to MaxPreps rankings, was Sacramento Inderkum, which resulted in a 48-13 loss for Banks and the Gauchos. MaxPreps pegged Inderkum as the No. 71 team in the state. El Cerrito did not play another team ranked in the top 100.
Left to prove: Banks needs to take better advantage of his body to reach his potential as an offensive lineman. He must work with a better bend in his knees rather than at his waist. It can be seen in his stance how much he leans rather than crouches. Banks has a tendency to catch pass rushers rather than deliver a blow to stop their momentum. He needs to take advantage of his length and keep defenders off his body. As a blocker, Banks should work to keep his hands inside the frame of the defender to prevent possible holding calls. If he can perfect the technique, Banks could become a dominant force.