Since getting hired, Brennan Marion has prioritized targeting young players to extend Pitt offers to and, for many of these players, it’s their first Division-I or Power Five offer.
The thinking behind that is the more time a coach has to develop a relationship with a player, the better chance he has of making a good impression on the player, which increases the school’s chances of getting a commitment from him in the future.
The latest example of this come with Class of 2023 speedster Ja’koby Banks from Missouri City, Texas, who Marion and Pitt extended an offer to on Sunday. The news from Pitt was big for Banks because it was his first Power Five offer, with his other offer coming from Marshall.
“To be honest with you, Pitt is one of my dream schools, so when I got it, I was really excited,” Banks told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “I had a feeling I might get one because when I got the offer from Marshall, they followed me and then offered. That’s what happened too with Pitt, so I’m excited about that.
“I started liking (Pitt) because I used to be on YouTube a lot and saw a lot of stuff with Pitt, especially hype videos and stuff like that. Since I started seeing that and started following them, I feel in love with the school and they’re one of my dream schools.”
Like all young players that start off playing football, the goal for Banks was to one day start receiving major offers and that was accomplished over the weekend after the news from Marion and Pitt. While Banks is happy for himself, he believes this news can be beneficial to others at Fort Bend Marshall High School.
“Now that I got my first Power Five offer, it is so big because all the kids at my school, especially the younger ones that look up to me, it shows them that if I was able to do it, if you work hard and are dedicated, it can happen to you as well,” said Banks. “A lot of my friends are like me, grinding hard and working but haven’t received that offer yet. Hopefully this might be motivation for them.”
— ♨️Jakoby “THE JOKER🃏“Banks . (@jakoby_banks) March 7, 2021
Banks (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) currently plays quarterback in high school, but Pitt told him that they’re recruiting him as an athlete. While he isn’t sure what position he’ll eventually play in college, he knows the biggest asset that he brings to a team:
“My speed,” he said. “I’m a really good athlete. I started at quarterback this year for the varsity team. I used that speed on a lot of trick plays. I work on my speed a lot as I also run track. My high school is actually the fastest track team in the nation right now. In college, I just want to play football. Where ever the team needs me and thinks I’m best at, that’s where I’ll play. While I prefer to play offense, if they need me on defense I’ll do that. I just want to play.
2023 ATH prospect @jakoby_banks can really take the top off of a defense with his speed. Be on the lookout for him during the offseason 📈📝
— Mr Houston 🏈 👑 (@MikeWestHTX) March 25, 2021
“The thing that’s so exciting to me is that Pitt offered a scholarship to me,” said Banks. “Being up there, how did they know about me being down here in Texas. That’s crazy and so cool.”