Banks exceeding expectations as special teams threat

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Senior wide receiver Brandon Banks received the distinction of Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week for the third time in nine games after his performance against Oklahoma last Saturday.

That effort included a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the way to 351 all-purpose yards — the most in the nation this year.

In the post-game press conference after that game, Banks said the team found itself to be capable of moving the ball anytime.

“I think we have a little more confidence on the offensive side of the ball,” Banks said. “Just knowing that we can put points on the board. Thirty points tonight, we’re pretty excited about that.”

Early in the season, Banks said one of his goals was to catch a lot of touchdowns. While he does lead the team in receiving yards, his four of his five touchdowns have come on kickoff returns. Accordingly, he sits atop the Big 12 Conference in the categories of kick return touchdowns, kick return average with 31.8 and kick return yards with 953.

As far as receiving, Banks ranks first on the team with 524 yards on the season. He averages 12.5 yards per catch and 58 receiving-yards per game.

He also leads the team in all-purpose yards with an average of 183 yards a game.

At Tuesday’s press conference, senior quarterback Grant Gregory said Banks is one of the fastest people he has ever played with.

“He is always one missed tackle or one juke away from taking it to the house,” Gregory said. “When he gets the ball in the game, he really shows what he can do.”

Last year Banks was proclaimed the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, a distinction earned by gaining more than 1,000 receiving yards. The Bakersfield, Calif., transfer has seemingly proved this season that the award was deserved.

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