It appears Washington’s 2021 signing class wasn’t quite complete.
Six months after 15 high-school seniors officially signed with UW, Davon Banks — a 5-foot-10, 156-pound cornerback from San Jacinto, Calif. — announced a verbal commitment to the Huskies on Wednesday.
“I want to first thank God for giving me the strength to fight the adversity throughout my life,” Banks wrote in a tweet on Wednesday afternoon. “Next I want to thank my mom and dad and sisters for always being there for me and helping pick my school. Also wanna thank everyone else that was there for me throughout this process but I’m proud to say I am a HUSKY”.
But though the timing around Banks’ commitment is certainly confounding, this is an interesting case in more ways than one. A San Jacinto High School standout, Banks did not receive a ranking from 247Sports and does not possess any other public scholarship offers.
It appears Jimmy Lake, Will Harris and Terrence Brown must have seen something in Banks that other college recruiters couldn’t.
Of course, one reason they couldn’t is that Banks tore the same meniscus twice during a frustrating prep career — forcing him to miss the majority of his junior season as well as the following spring. His senior season was then pushed to April of this year, after colleges nationwide had already solidified their signing classes.
But in a 35-21 win over Citrus Hill on April 17, the under-recruited two-way star piled up four catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns, including scores of 39 and 85 yards, while adding a 92-yard kickoff return touchdown as well. Two other Banks touchdowns were negated by penalties, most notably a 99-yard would-be pick-six.
“I do it on both sides of the ball, offense and defense,” Banks told the Press-Enterprise after that game. “And I was able to do it today on special teams, as well.”
As for how the Huskies noticed such an unheralded recruit, UW’s entire staff traveled to Southern California to coach a camp Banks participated in at the University of Redlands last week.
“(UW defensive backs coach) Will Harris stayed in touch with me the whole process,” Banks told 247Sports. “I had a few schools offering me a PWO (preferred walk-on) but I just wanted to see what I could do at a few camps and coach Harris asked me to come out to the Redlands Camp last Wednesday.
“I thought I did pretty well and coach Harris and coach Lake told me they were going to call later that night. I didn’t know what to expect honestly. I wasn’t sure if they wanted to offer me a scholarship, a PWO, I had no idea.
“I was on the phone with my dad, coach Harris and coach Lake and they told me they were offering me a full scholarship. I committed right there on the spot. I mean I practically interrupted them and said, ‘coach I’m committing.’ I’m so excited to be a Husky, I haven’t stopped smiling ever since.”
UW signed three other defensive backs in the 2021 class — three-star prospects Dyson McCutcheon, Zakhari Spears and Vince Nunley. Lake and Co. also showed a willingness to pursue under-recruit prospects, signing Renton defensive lineman Siaosi Finau — who, like Banks, was unranked when he committed to UW (though he later garnered a three-star ranking).
In all, the Huskies’ 2021 class — which, due to a small number of departing seniors, includes just 16 commits — is ranked sixth in the Pac-12 and 36th nationally by the 247Sports Composite.
Lake is betting on his staff’s ability to identify and develop talent.
In Banks, he’s hoping to polish an undiscovered diamond from outside Anaheim.