August 14, 2006

Banks the next Blue?

Eight days into fall camp, one freshman name keeps coming out of the mouths of all Georgia defensive players. That young man is true freshman [/db]Quintin Banks[/db] from Houston County High in middle Georgia.

The young safety is garnering high praise from his teammates and coaches during practice. Coach [/db]Willie Martinez[/db] refers to him as Blue, as in former safety Greg Blue, instead of Banks during many of the defensive back drills.

Despite being third on the depth chart, many of the coaches and players think Banks will carry on the legacy at safety. Banks welcomes the attention and appreciates the honor of being compared to Blue.

"Greg Blue is the level I am trying to get to that all American level hitting people hard," said Banks. "When I see Blue on film hitting people that is the level that I am trying to get to."

The young safety studies the old game film of former safety stars at Georgia besides Blue, though Blue is his favorite.

"Another safety I watch is Thomas Davis, I try to compare my footwork with his footwork," said Banks. "I want to play hard all the time like Blue does on the field."

Banks main goal heading into the season is finding a way to get on the field. With his inclination for hitting, he may find some playing time on kickoffs and punt coverage.

"Right now I am just rotating in with other players trying to get some snaps," said Banks. "I would like to be known as a hitter, but I think I need to work on my coverage and footwork so I can be known as a cover guy and a hitter."

The expectations for this season are low with junior [/db]Kelin Johnson[/db] and sophomore [/db]C.J. Byrd[/db] ahead of him on the depth chart. The two elder safeties are helping Banks adjust to the Georgia defense and teaching him what to do, so he can impress the coaching staff.

"C.J. and Kelin are doing a great job of helping me and coaching me up," said Banks. "They do not want me to make too many mistakes and get in trouble with the coaches, so they are doing a good job in helping me become a good free safety."

Banks is content with spending his first year learning from those safeties and improving his coverage skills, so he will be able to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors at Georgia.

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