The western Pennsylvania area, and more specifically the WPIAL, is one of the more well-known recruiting areas and athletic leagues in all of high school sports. The WPIAL (Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League) is one of the top talent producing leagues in the northern part of country, and usually as secure as it comes for home state mainstays Penn State, Pitt and Temple. It’s rare to see top talent leave the area, but today, West Virginia went into North Versailles and did just that, as athlete TJ Banks committed to the Mountaineers via his twitter account.
Go mountaineers!! 🔵🔶 pic.twitter.com/RNGtTP6aha
— ‼️⚠️ Tj Banks ⚠️‼️ (@Tj_15110) October 18, 2017
THE BANKS FILE
Banks is the 18th commitment in West Virginia’s 2018 class, and the third tight end, along with Mike O’Laughlin and TJ Ivy. The class is very passing game heavy, and holds four receivers and a quarterback, along with those three tight ends. He’s the second Pennsylvanian in the class, along with halfback Leddie Brown. Banks is one of the most talented players in the now sixth best class in the conference, and could be an immediate contributor for the Mountaineers.
Banks picked West Virginia over nine other offers, from Cincinnati, Illinois, Maryland, Pitt, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, Toledo and Western Michigan. He also garnered interest from Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan State, and I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the those three schools do eventually offer Banks. Ultimately, it was his relationship with West Virginia’s staff, and the chance to play early that swayed Banks from the hometown Panthers.
On the field, Banks is an excellent athlete, with a lot of strength, but plenty of growing left to do, both in physical size and in his skills. He plays defensive end for his high school team, but everything I’ve heard indicates that he’ll be switching to offense in Morgantown. With his athletic ability, size, and ceiling, the move makes a lot of sense because of his fit in Holgorsen’s offense. His ceiling comparison is Vernon Davis.