Last night, Mississippi State defensive back Johnthan Banks took home the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given annually to college football's best defensive back.
The award is not only a huge honor for Banks, but a testament to the abilities of his position coaches and all of those that worked with him in his four seasons at MSU. So I got to thinking last night as I watched the pictures roll out on Twitter of Banks enjoying his well-deserved moment in the spotlight: does this give any advantage to MSU and its coaching staff on the recruiting trail when recruiting DBs?
As you know, State is looking to fill some big shoes in 2013. Banks, along with Darius Slay and Corey Broomfield, will all graduate and be gone next season, leaving the Bulldogs looking to fill positions for 2013 and beyond. As a part of that process, State is currently recruiting several talented defensive back prospects from around the south. Could recruits look at this award and see an advantage that State and its defensive coaching staff can offer them? Here is a list of a few of the talented prospects that State is pursuing for 2013:
- **** CB Jalen Ramsey (USC Commit)
- **** CB Carroll Washington (Arkansas Commit)
- *** CB Nate Willis
- *** CB Riyahd Jones
- **** CB Mackensie Alexander
These are just a few of the many talented athletes that State is pursuing for the 2013 recruiting class. Some of the names listed above like Carrol Washington and Nate Willis are talented JUCO guys who could seemingly step in and contribute immediately should they chose to come to State. When I look at this list and the commits that State already has, I can't help but wonder if Banks' accomplishment provides any additional lure to MSU for them.
But, even beyond that: could the award help State land recruits at the DB position in future classes?
The answer is: we don't know, to be honest. We are talking about 18 year olds making major decisions that will, - in many cases - effect the rest of their lives. There are all sorts of reasons as to why recruits pick specific schools: it can be for the program, the school itself, the coach, or even the women on campus. But whether or not Banks' award is a selling point in the eye of any of the targeted prospects that State is pursuing, rest assured that it is a great weapon for the coaching staff to have in their arsenal when they go into the homes of the next great MSU defensive backs. "Hey son, how would you like to be the next Thorpe Award winner and first day NFL draft prospect?" Has a nice ring to it if you are a recruit, wouldn't you think? Not only has Banks proven his true talent and ability in his four seasons at State, but the coaching staff has proven that no matter if you are a ***** or a *** like Banks was coming in, they will give you a chance to achieve your true potential. And I would think that is something quite appealing in the eyes of recruits everywhere.