Data Scout Notes: 2012: ThorpeWinner/WCamp1st/1stC/AP2nd/1stM/ThorpeFinalist...P1stC-CB/P2ndC-KR/P2ndM-CB/P3rdM-KR/PThorpe/PNagurski/PBednarik/PLott...2011: 2ndAP/P3rdC...2010: NA
Johnthan Banks/Mississippi State football Videos
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Banks signed with the Bulldogs as a relatively lightly recruited prospect out of the small town of Maben, Miss., which has approximately 874 residents, according to the latest US Census.
Despite his rather humble past, Banks quickly proved to be anything but small-time by playing well as a true freshman. He initially played mostly on special teams but injuries forced him into action as the Bulldogs' starting free safety by the sixth game and he went on to keep the position for the final seven games of the season.
During that time he amassed 33 tackles, seven passes defensed and four interceptions, including two of Florida's Tim Tebow, each of which he returned for touchdowns (100, 20 yard returns). The 100-yard return came on the final play of the first half and cut the defending national champs and then No. 1 ranked Florida's lead to just 13-10 going into halftime. It was just the third and fourth interceptions that Tebow, the defending Heisman Trophy winner, had thrown through seven games.
Banks was asked to make the switch to cornerback as a true sophomore and quickly proved himself to be a difference-maker at this position, as well. He posted 54 tackles in 2010, registering 10 passes broken up and another three interceptions.
Though he'd certainly shown flashes of game-breaking ability over his first two seasons, Banks elevated his play to another level last year, recording career-highs in virtually every category. Starting all 13 games, he registered 71 tackles, 11.5 for loss, three sacks, three forced fumbles, nine pass breakups and five interceptions, one of which he returned for a score (Auburn). He was also made the team's punt returner, averaging 10.6 yards per attempt and returning a punt 65 yards for a touchdown against Tennessee-Martin.
Strengths: Good length and tall frame for the position. Natural flexibility and agile footwork to quickly redirect, driving fast and physical on plays. Always seems to know where the ball is, quickly locating and aggressively goes after it. Good discipline to read routes and stay glued to receivers.
Very good ballskills to snatch the ball out of the air and is ballhawk in the secondary with a school-record 16 career interceptions. Comfortable and confident in coverage, using his eyes to bait throws. Opportunistic player and always looking for the game-changing play, never afraid to take chances.
Aggressive and tough against the run and works hard to shed. Lacks ideal bulk but doesn't shy from big hits and easy to love his physical nature and competitiveness. Fiery demeanor and not afraid to get on teammates for mistakes. Known as a vocal team leader with strong football character, work ethic and ambition.
Weaknesses: Lean and lanky body type. Starts too upright at times and can get lazy with his technique. Gets caught with his eyes in the backfield and can lose sight of his man. Opens hips too early and needs to stay balanced in his backpedal.
Tends to overpursue in run support and needs to tight his angles to play under control and finish tackles. Often hits too high and needs to consistently use his long arms to wrap. Can get hung up on blocks and has looked worn down late in games, not playing with a full tank. Nagging left knee injury in 2012, but not a serious issue.
2012 Jim Thorpe Award winner, given annually to the top defensive back in college football ... First national individual award winner in school history ... The third Walter Camp First-Team All-American in school history ... Also earned All-America honors from eight other media outlets ... The first Senior CLASS Award finalist in school history ... A Conerly Trophy finalist, given to the best player in the state of Mississippi ... The first Lott IMPACT Trophy semifinalist in the history of the program ... Also the first Chuck Bednarik Award semifinalist at Mississippi State ... Named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Paul Hornung Award Watch List as a senior ... A 2012 member of the SEC Community Service team ... Tied for the school record with 16 career interceptions, which is tied for seventh in SEC history ... Owns the SEC record with 20.0 career yards per interception return.
Also tied for second in SEC history with three career interceptions returned for touchdowns ... Among active players in the FBS, ranks first in career interception yards (320), tied for third in career interceptions, is tied for sixth in interceptions returned for touchdowns, ranks eighth in interceptions per game (.32) and is tied for eighth with 26 career pass breakups ... As a result of offenses avoiding him, Mississippi State is tied for fifth in the country in turnover margin (+17), while him and teammate Darius Slay have more combined interceptions (nine) than 33 FBS teams ... Established himself as one of the top defensive backs in the country after a stellar 2011 regular season ... A member of the AP All-SEC Second Team in 2011 ... Has earned 44 career starts at both corner and safety ... Only two active FBS players have played in more games than Banks ... Made the switch from safety to corner following an outstanding true freshman campaign ... Provided a highlight of the 2009 season with a 100- yard interception return for a touchdown against Tim Tebow of Florida.
Winner of the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the best defensive back in college football ... The first major national individual award winner in 113 seasons of Mississippi State football ... Also a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, Senior CLASS Award and Conerly Trophy, as well as a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy ... Also named to the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Paul Hornung Award Watch List ... Earned First-Team All-America honors from Walter Camp, FWAA, Phil Steele, Lindys, FoxSportsNext and second-team honors from the AP, Athlon Sports, CBSSports.com and Sports Illustrated ... The third Walter Camp All-American in school history and the first born from the state of Mississippi in over a decade ... Earned First-Team All- SEC honors from the AP, SEC Coaches, ESPN.com, CBSSports.com and Phil Steele ... Named to the 2012 SEC Community Service Team ... Earned midseason All-America honors by ESPN. com, CBSSports.com, Sporting News, Phil Steele, Sports Illustrated and Scout.com ... The week 10 SEC Community Service Team Player of the Week ... Named to the week seven and week eight Hornung Award Honor Roll ... Tied for third in the SEC in interceptions, 10th in passes broken up and sixth in passes defended ... After two interceptions in the SEC-opening win vs. Auburn, was named Jim Thorpe National Defensive Back of the Week, CBSSports. com SEC Defensive Player of the Week, CollegeSportsMadness.com National Defensive Player of the Week, CollegeFootballPerformance.com All-Purpose Performer of the Week and listed on the Hornung Award Honor Roll.
Senior team captain started all 12 regular season games, recording 63 tackles, seven pass breakups, four interceptions, 2.0 tackles for loss, a fumble forced and a fumble recovery ... Was thrown at 60 times in man coverage during the regular season, allowing just 37 catches for 422 yards (35.2 yards per game ... Credited with four tackles and returned two punts for 21 yards in the Gator Bowl against Northwestern ... Left the bowl game in the first half due to a leg laceration ... Held Arkansasí Tyler Wilson, the ninth-leading passer in the nation, to a season-low 225 yards and his fifth-lowest career total as a starter (minimum three quarters played) ... Was thrown at twice in man coverage, allowing one catch ... In the one-on-one battle, Banks held Biletnikoff semifinalist and midseason All-American Cobi Hamilton to one catch for five yards when they lined up across from each other, despite Hamilton ranking fifth in the FBS with 114 receiving yards per game ... Against all other defenders, Hamilton caught six passes for 88 yards and a touchdown ... Had a dominating performance at No. 9 LSU Nov. 9 in Death Valley, allowing just one catch for seven yards out of six passes thrown his way in man coverage ... Also had a pass breakup and a quarterback hurry, while counting for almost half (5-of-11) of LSU QB Zach Mettenbergerís incompletions.
Tied Walt Harrisí 17-year-old school record with his 16th-career interception vs. Middle Tennessee Oct. 20, running it back for 46 yards ... Also returned a punt for 15 yards against the Blue Raiders ... Against the then-leading SEC passing attack in Tennessee (10th in FBS), held midseason All-American Justin Hunter and midseason All- SEC wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson to just two catches each Oct. 13, while helping limit Volsí quarterback Tyler Bray to a then career lows as a starter in completions (13) and yards (148) ... Was thrown at five times, allowing just two catches for 28 yards ... Clinging to a three-point lead with less than 10 minutes left in the game against Tennessee and MSUís undefeated season on the line, Banks forced and recovered a fumble that completely changed the momentum of the game and secured MSUís sixth victory of the 2012 campaign ... Was thrown at 10 times in man coverage and allowed just five receptions for 39 yards vs. South Alabama (3.9 YPA), collecting two pass breakups and returning an interception 47 yards ... Also brought back three punts for 34 yards in the week four win against the Jaguars ... Was thrown at just 7.8 percent of the time and allowed just 4.8 yards per catch in the win at Troy (6-of-47), with all six passes being screen passes that went his way ... Both interceptions Troy threw were a direct result of Banks blitzing the quarterback on a corner blitz ... Was thrown at just twice in the first 47 minutes of the Auburn win, with both passes being picked off by Banks ... Helped limit the Tigersí passing game to -2 yards at halftime ... Did not give up a catch in the season opener vs. Jackson State, being thrown at just twice.
Named to the AP All-SEC second team . . . Started all 13 games, totaling 71 tackles (46 solo), 8.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, nine pass breakups, five interceptions with one returned for a touchdown . . . Also returned 16 punts for 166 yards and a score . . . Named semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive back . . . Mississippi State's first semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award since Pig Prather in 2001 . . . Named Conerly Trophy finalist, given annually to the top player in the state of Mississippi . . . Named third-team All-SEC by Phil Steele . . . Honorable mention Phil Steele Midseason All-American . . . Named to the Lindy's preseason All-SEC second team and SEC Coaches preseason All-SEC third team . . . Tied for 14th in the nation with five interceptions (T-4th in SEC), which also tied for seventh-most in a single season in school history . . . Tied for 38th in the country with 14 passes defended (4th in SEC) . . . Ranked 23rd in the NCAA (5th in SEC) in punt-return average per game (10.4) . . . Second among all defensive backs in the SEC with 3.0 sacks, while also totaling 7.5 tackles for loss . . . Tied for 10th in the SEC with two forced fumbles . . . One of two players in the NCAA to have returned a punt and an interception for a touchdown . . . Returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown at Auburn on Sept. 10 . . . Recorded an interception against No. 3 LSU on Sept. 15, one of only three interceptions LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee threw the entire season . . . Registered his first sack of the season against Louisiana Tech on Sept. 24, and followed that up with a 12-yard tackle for loss at Georgia on Oct. 1 . . . Responsible for two interceptions in the South Carolina game, intercepting one pass and tipping the ball to teammate Nickoe Whitley for another pick . . . Held South Carolina All-American receiver Alshon Jeffery to his lowest yards-per-catch output of the season on Oct. 15 (4.8 YPC) . . . Recorded six tackles, a sack and a forced fumble at Kentucky . . . Notched his first-career punt return for a touchdown with a 65-yard touchdown return vs. UT Martin . . . Recorded his third sack of the season and forced his second fumble of the 2011 campaign at Arkansas in MSU's first game on CBS since 2005 . . . In the Egg Bowl victory vs. rival Ole Miss, totaled a career-high and team-best 2.5 tackles for loss, five total tackles and one forced fumble . . . Recorded seven tackles and 0.5 TFL in a Music City Bowl victory against Wake Forest.
Started the 12 of 13 games at his left cornerback position . . . Picked off two passes and added five pass breakups on the year . . . Posted 50 total tackles, including 1.5 behind the line of scrimmage . . . Earned the starting job at left corner after making the switch from safety in the offseason . . . Recorded his first career sack in Week 2 against Auburn . . . Intercepted a first-quarter pass at Florida and returned it 12 yards . . . Picked off a Kentucky pass two weeks later . . . Credited with eight tackles and a pair of pass breakups against UAB . . . Posted a career-high nine tackles against Arkansas . . . Intercepted his seventh career pass in Gator Bowl win over Michigan . . . Also posted four tackles and broke up a pair of passes in the game.
Named Freshman All-Southeastern Conference by the league?s coaches . . . Earned SEC Freshman of the Week following the Florida game . . . Played in all 12 games during his true freshman season on campus . . . Saw action mainly on special teams until an opportunity to start in Week 6 . . . Started each of the last seven games after entering the lineup . . . Posted six tackles against Houston, his first defensive action . . . Intercepted a pair of passes against Middle Tennessee the following week . . . Intercepted a pair of Tim Tebow passes and returned both for touchdowns against Florida . . . His 100-yard return on the final play of the first half was one of the biggest moments of the 2009 season . . . Recorded a career-best seven tackles against Alabama.
CAREER NOTES Made the switch from safety to corner following an outstanding true freshman campaign . . . Provided a highlight of the 2009 season with 100 interception return for touchdown against Florida . . . Has earned 19 career starts at both safety and corner.
Considered the No. 63 ?athlete? prospect in the country by national recruiting web site Rvials.com . . . That site also regarded him as the No. 23 prospect in the state of Mississippi . . . Rated the No. 69 safety prospect in the country by national recruiting web site Scout.com following his senior season . . . Credited with running a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash by national recruiting web site ESPN.com . . . Named second-team, all-state in all classifications at linebacker by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger following his senior season . . . Rated with the top 40 high school prospects in the state of Mississippi by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger following his senior season . . . Accounted for 1,740 yards of total offense and 17 touchdowns while playing quarterback for head coach Jimmy Carden at East Webster High School in Maben, Miss. . . . Also starred on the defensive side of the ball, making 35 tackles and seven pass interceptions during his senior season . . . As a junior, he rushed for 16 touchdowns as a running back and recorded two pass interceptions in the defensive secondary . . . Once returned three punts for touchdowns in a single game for the Wolverines . . . Played for his high school varsity team since the eighth grade . . . Led his prep baseball team to state championships in Class 1-A during his freshman and junior campaigns . . . Also played basketball on the high school level . . . Committed to Mississippi State in April 2008.
Born Johnthan Shuntay Banks, 10-3-89 . . . Grandson of Mrs. Maggie Banks.
Draft Scout Player News
09/29/15 - CB Johnthan Banks (knee) was forced to leave in the first half against the Texans and did not return to the game. He was replaced by Mike Jenkins.
12/01/14 - CB Johnthan Banks made his team-leading fourth interception on the first offensive play of the game Sunday vs. the Bengals.
11/17/14 - CB Johnthan Banks had his third INT of the season Sunday and scored his first career touchdown.
10/15/14 - CB Johnthan Banks, who missed the last game with a neck strain, did not practice during the bye week. He is expected to play vs. the Vikings.
10/13/14 - CB Johnthan Banks has a neck strain and did not play in Sunday's loss to the Ravens. He may not practice during the bye week but is expected back for the Oct. 26 game vs. Minnesota.