Sophomore quarterback Jonathan Banks announced his transfer from K-State through Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
— Jonathan Banks (@Juranimal9) February 2, 2016
The decision comes after Banks sat out the entire 2015-16 season as sophomore Jesse Ertz, junior Joe Hubener, freshman Alex Delton and senior wide reciever Kody Cook received all the time under center.
Sean Banks, Jonathan’s father, said that while he is glad his son got the K-State experience, he was disappointed by what he felt was a lack of opportunity for Jonathan to get playing time.
“First of all, we appreciate the experience that we established at K-State,” Sean said. “It’s a great university. But we wanted to get more of an opportunity to get out there and really showcase his talent. So we felt like it was best to try to go someplace that is actually in need of a real dual-threat quarterback that can utilize his ability to run, his ability to throw and the ability to think and make great decisions.”
Banks was a four-star recruit coming out of Contra Costa Community College, according to Rivals.com. Before that, Banks was a three-sport athlete at Nimitz High School in the Houston area.
Jonathan arrived at K-State right before fall camp and was said to be in the mix for the starting job, which was eventually won by Ertz.
Banks may have gotten a shot as the season continued, as both Ertz and Delton went down with injury, but just as conference play began, he developed mononucleosis, which delayed his on-field progress.
“He came down with mono right before the Oklahoma State game,” Sean said. “That was really unfortunate, but even before that we just didn’t feel like we were given a real shot at this deal. We wanted the opportunity at the beginning. That’s all we asked for. We didn’t want anything given to him. All we wanted was a shot.”
As the season went on, speculation grew about whether or not Jonathan would even remain a quarterback going into the 2016-17 season, or if he would move to a skill position like running back or wide receiver with his high athletic ability. The depth at quarterback going into next season included incoming four-star freshman signee Skylar Thompson.
“(Changing positions) was definitely mentioned to us on a couple of occasions,” Sean said. “But that’s not really why we came to K-State. We were very clear-cut about that. We thought that (K-State) really was in the need of a quarterback. He had several opportunities to go other places to play something other than quarterback out of high school.”
Sean also said he was reluctant to have his son get pigeonholed as a “run-first quarterback.”
“We didn’t want to be put in a situation where we’re just putting him in to run the ball so many times,” Sean said. “A lot of quarterbacks are just ‘special-black quarterbacks.’ A lot of the time they’re not put in good positions to utilize all of their skill sets. Of course he can run the ball, that’s not an issue.”
K-State head coach Bill Snyder understood Jonathan’s weariness for his future at K-State.
“Jonathan would’ve been competitive, I think, with the group,” Snyder said. “It was just one of those things that he wasn’t sure where he would be on the depth chart. He didn’t have that much time left and I guess he didn’t want to take the chance.”
As for Jonathan’s future, he mentioned interest in schools like TCU, but according to his father, he will most likely end up heading back to junior college since he still has three years of eligibility left.