RECRUITING: Wildcats In The Running For MVP Halfback
Updated: Jan 31, 2021
(Photo provided by Damon Bankston)
NAME: Damon Bankston
HIGH SCHOOL: Paetow High School (Katy, Tx)
TOP SCHOOLS: Stephen F. Austin, Texas Southern, Weber State
Let’s look at some numbers: 1634 rushing yards, 163 rushing yards per game, 8.9 yards per carry, 17 touchdowns.
It’s no wonder that Damon Bankston’s family and friends like to call him “Boss.”
As a senior at Paetow High School in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston, those are the numbers that would earn Bankston the District 10 5A MVP and get him selected to the First Team All-District as a running back.
This guy is a star.
When you watch his film, you can tell that Bankston, who is 5’11” and 185 pounds, knows what his strengths are and how to use them. He runs low, he has a low center of gravity, and he’s able to brush away would be tacklers with ease. He’s also shifty and can make a couple of guys miss. His break-away speed was part of the reason why he was able to have so many long runs his last couple of years in high school.
When a player in Texas – where many consider to be “football’s spiritual home” – has this much success and talent, it’s bound to come with some attention, too. While several local schools like Texas Southern and Stephen F. Austin are both in on Bankston, Weber State provides an intriguing out-of-state alternative.
So what does Bankston want in a school? It’s fairly simple, actually.
“I really just wanted to go and get an education and the chance to play football; that’s all I ever really wanted,” the star running back said to Weber State Weekly earlier this week. We also learned that he’s interested in a good business school, and he hopes to get into sports marketing or sports media after college.
As far as his interest in Weber State goes, Boss loves the Wildcats’ coaches. “I love their personalities and attitudes,” Bankston said. “They want me real bad.”
When asked what kinds of things he’d been hearing from the Weber State staff, Bankston said, “Basically, that they see my numbers. It would be real good for me to come to Weber State and I’d fit in perfectly. I talked to the running back coach and they say that I play with some things that you can’t teach, and that if I go to Weber State I’d become special.”
After watching his tape and considering how well Weber State recruits and develops running backs, it’s nearly impossible to disagree with that assessment.
With how recruiting has been this year and official visits being reduced to web conferencing, we asked Bankston what he thought when he looked at Weber State’s campus through a virtual lens. “I got on a Zoom call with all the coaches and they showed me around the campus and the football facility. I think it was real nice. I could definitely see myself going there. I liked the outside. In Texas, there aren’t any mountains. Everything looks really good.”
We can watch the tape, talk to coaches, fans, family and whoever else about what Bankston might bring to the football team, but we wanted to get his take on how he could strengthen the program of his choice. His response: “I would say I have a real big determination. I hate losing. I do everything I can to win games. If it’s selling my body out on the line to get the first down, I’ll do it. I’m always looking to score and take every opportunity.”
Bankston told Weber State Weekly that his primary contact during the recruiting process has been Safeties Coach Joe Dale, whose recruiting focus is the state of Texas.
Off the field, Boss likes playing video games, specifically “Madden,” “NBA 2K” and “Call of Duty.” He is also a gifted artist, he loves drawing cartoon characters and he has an entire artbook full of his work.
He plans on announcing his commitment either on signing day (February 3) or as early as the previous Friday (January 29).
Waldo’s Magic 8 Ball Prediction
Bankston clearly is a talented back who has “big play” capability. His skills and determination easily make him someone that the Wildcats would love to get, and with Weber State landing a lot of defense and little offense in the early signing period, it seems like Bankston would fill a need for Weber State. When we consulted Waldo’s Magic 8 Ball to see if Bankston would be donning Weber State purple on Saturdays, the response we received was, “Most likely.” This seems like a great fit for both parties. Jay Hill’s teams have a great track record of producing quality running backs, and Bankston loves Weber State’s coaches. It makes sense for him to want to come to come to Ogden, and we believe that he’ll end up committing to the Wildcats.