Name: Greg Banks
Weight: 285 lbs.
High school: Montbello High School in Denver, CO
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Redshirt senior
Jersey number: #92
Last year: I ranked Banks #32 and said he’d see plenty of time in the defensive line rotation. He made 5 tackles from the 3-tech DT position.
This might be my most controversial choice for starter, and he also has the potential to be my “most overrated” player by the end of the season. Banks was a backup defensive lineman in 2009, seeing time at the 3-tech defensive tackle position that Ryan Van Bergen occupied most of the time. He only made 5 tackles in a solid but unspectacular campaign and couldn’t distance himself from Renaldo Sagesse, another backup DT. But Banks did earn praise from defensive line coach Bruce Tall in the spring; the coach called Banks’ pass rushing moves “textbook,” which might not be the best compliment, but it might be good enough.
There’s going to be a weak link along the defensive line, especially if Michigan fans are looking for a Brandon Graham-like superstar. Ryan Van Bergen will be solid at 5-tech defensive end. Mike Martin will be very good, whether he’s playing nose tackle or 3-tech DT. If William Campbell starts at nose tackle, his conditioning and technique will likely be a weakness. If Banks starts at DT, his strength and overall athleticism will make him the least heralded. He’s not a superstar in the making, but if he can hold his ground as well as Van Bergen did at DT in 2009 (40 tackles, 5 sacks), Michigan fans should be happy. Campbell will get more playing time this year than last, and that might cut into the minutes Greg Banks sees. We’ll see a slight drop-off at the DT position this year, but hopefully it will be muted by improved playing from the linebackers.
Prediction for 2010: Starting defensive tackle; 30 tackles, 2 sacks
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