Brandon Banks: Why His Small Stature Is The Washington Redskins Deadly Weapon

Shae CroninCorrespondent INovember 29, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 02:  Wide receiver Brandon Banks #16 of the Washington Redskins runs with the ball after a reception past Matt Ware #22 of the Arizona Cardinals during preseason NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As one of the most important pieces in the Washington Redskins puzzle, and arguably the most electrifying talent on the team, Brandon Banks deserves more credit.

Standing at a generously listed 5’7" and weighing less than 150 pounds, Banks is a walking-talking example of hard work, dedication and relentlessness. And let’s not forget his blazing speed, which earned him a place on the 2006 USA Today All-USA high school track and field team.

After high school, Banks went on to become a JUCO All-American and led his first-place Bakersfield team to a spot in the Southern Cal Championship game. After transferring to Kansas State to start the 2008 season, Banks began to make a name for himself as a receiver and special teamer.

In his junior year at Kansas State, Banks had one of the best seasons ever for a junior receiver in school history. He hauled in 67 catches that year for 1,049 yards, becoming only the sixth player in school history to rack up 1,000 yards receiving in a single season and the only junior to ever do so.

When Banks was signed by the Washington Redskins, many didn’t believe he would even make the team. After an impressive first game against the Buffalo Bills in the preseason, Banks followed with a few drops/muffs and the question marks began to float once again. But, from all observing accounts, Banks never once questioned himself. He was ultimately cut from the team on September 26th and then re-signed just three days later. The Redskins knew they had something.

Banks was of course promoted to the active roster and he’s been nothing short of amazing ever since.

Serving mainly as a returner and special team extraordinaire, Banks has been a real bright spot for the Redskins in every position he plays. He has come through with big catches at the receiver position (at TEN), he has shown glimmers of potential in the Wildcat formation (MIN) and his returning abilities have been on display ever since fielding his first NFL punt and setting up a Redskins touchdown with a 51-yard return.

And let’s not forget about this young man’s toughness.

If there’s such a thing as “drive-thru knee surgery”, this kid has done it. According to reports, Banks was literally dragging his leg in a boot as he walked around Redskins Park just two days before the Minnesota game.

Banks was suffering, most likely, from swelling and soreness in his knee after receiving surgery just four weeks prior. But on Sunday, we watch Banks run the Wildcat (a formation which he claims we’ll never see him throw), we see him making special teams plays and we see him return a punt for a touchdown in the clutch (which was ultimately negated).

Perhaps it’s something in the water down in Garner, North Carolina that turns guys into such superb athletes. Banks’ alma mater is Garner Magnet High School, the same high school that Washington Wizards point guard John Wall attended for two years. The two are close friends and Banks can often be seen doing the “John Wall Dance” whenever he makes a big play. In addition, both have attended each others respected games and both are very active in the DMV community.

At first glance, Banks appears as a young man whose shoulder-length hair probably makes up a majority of his body weight. However, Banks is a very special player. And with all hopes of  Brandon Banks staying in Washington for many years to come, we understand that it’s actually his hard work, dedication and relentlessness that make up every ounce of his 149-pound frame.