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2024 3-Star S Commit Tayshawn Banks Felt a Family Like No Other in Pittsburgh



Tayshawn Banks kind of had an idea that he was going to commit to Pitt before he made his third visit over the weekend, but the latest experience just confirmed that he knew where he needed to be.

Pitt felt like home for Banks — a 6-foot, 170-pound three-star safety from Taft High in Cincinnati, Ohio — and he knew he couldn’t leave without committing.

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So, he officially committed to Pitt Monday over offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Kent State, Kentucky, Marshall, Massachusetts, Miami (Oh.), Michigan, Penn State, Purdue and West Virginia.

Banks has been able to build a strong relationship with defensive coordinator Randy Bates over the last year, ever since he received his official offer from Pitt last May, and that Pitt bond has branched out a number of coaches.

The Pitt coaching staff as a whole tries to make their student-athletes (emphasis on student-athletes) better on and off the field. It’s that bond, that relationship between coach and student-athlete, that made Banks confident enough to make his decision.

“I kinda had a feeling Pitt is where I wanted to go, but then going up there, it made my decision 100% clear,” Banks told PSN. “When I went up there, the experience of being at Pitt is different. When I went to Michigan, I didn’t feel the same way I did at Pitt.”

Banks has been able to bond with Bates, Pat Narduzzi and Cory Sanders during his recruiting process, and that relationship with Sanders — who has helped put a number of defensive backs in the NFL — hasn’t been lost upon Banks.

“He said he likes the way I can break down film, and with him as a coach, with him and his knowledge of the game, I feel like he can help me at my position to be better at that position and understand the game way more,” Banks said.

And it isn’t just the coaches that Banks has been able to connect with either. A former Pitt safety — and NFL hopeful — has laid the foundation for success.

“I watched (Brandon Hill), I spoke to him when I was up there at Pitt,” Banks said. “He said Pitt helped him get to the position he’s at, and it’s a great environment. It felt like a family to him.”

Hill was the fastest safety at the 2023 NFL Combine in Indianapolis earlier this month, running a blazing 4.43 40-yard dash, and Banks is a safety in the mold of Hill — possessing a killer blend of physicality and speed.

As a junior at Taft, he picked off nine passes (which includes three returned for touchdowns), but he also starred as a kick returner — scoring long touchdowns in the kickoff and punt return phases. He’s a true ballhawk, and it’s usually led to success.

“I like to play the trail technique, when we go man-to-man, we have a safety over the top, and I drop below him because I feel like if the quarterback in high school is throwing the ball in a small pocket like that, that quarterback should go a long way,” Banks said.

“I’m a good physical guy, and I like to stare at the quarterback a little bit, and I feel like at Pitt, on certain plays, that’s what I’m able to do.”

While he’s played nickel at Taft, Pitt feels he’s strong enough to play on the boundary and fast enough to play in the field. Either way, he has a future at safety in Pittsburgh. And he wants to prove he’s a lockdown defensive back — the next to come from Pitt.

247Sports rates him as the 85th-ranked cornerback and the 45th-ranked recruit from Ohio. On3 hasn’t rated him yet, but Rivals rates him as the 37th-ranked recruit from Ohio — holding a 5.6 Rivals Rating.

He’s committed to Pitt now, which feels good since he’s able to focus on the bigger goals at hand, and he feels the love pouring in from the Panther Faithful.

“It feels good,” Banks said. “The people of Pitt, the students of Pitt, everybody that likes Pitt, they’ve been showing me a lot of love. That feels good coming from the school I committed to.

“The coaches gave me a chance to show my abilities, and I won’t let them down.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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