Korey Banks understands his reputation in recruiting circles centered around his speed.
His personal scouting report, however, harps on other facets of his game he can’t wait to show off as a wide receiver at South Carolina.
“A lot of people think I’m just fast,” he said. “Korey Banks is a better route runner than a lot of people think. He understands how to get open, is a very consistent catcher, definitely can run and has the ability to make guys miss in the open field, even in small spaces.”
Banks starred at Sandy Creek High in Tyrone, Ga., the same school that produced Gamecocks offensive lineman Alan Knott.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Banks is one of five freshman receivers in South Carolina’s 2016 signing class. First-year coach Will Muschamp said the Gamecocks will need at least one or two of those newcomers to contribute this season.
“He comes from a great program, and he has good top-end speed,” Muschamp said. “He’s a guy that can really challenge people vertically down the field.”
Banks ran the 100- and 200-meter events for Sandy Creek’s track team, as well as the 400-meter relay. He’s been timed as low as 4.35 in the 40-yard dash, according to his Hudl highlights page.
The legend of his speed dates back to middle school.
“By the time I got to sixth grade, I could just see myself separating myself from other kids,” he said. “We’d do a race of about 50 yards, I’d beat them by five, six yards at least. I didn’t really understand what I was doing. I just knew I could just beat him to this spot.”
Banks is originally from South Florida, born in Palm Beach County, and grew up a fan of the in-state Florida Gators. After a move to the Atlanta area, he attended Cedar Grove Middle and played baseball on the Gresham Park Padres with current Gamecock linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams.
Football and track became his main focus in high school. Banks believes his ability to stretch the field as a football player is what cemented his reputation as a speedster.
Banks, a consensus three-star prospect, had 61 catches for 813 yards and six scores in his senior season at Sandy Creek. He will wear No. 7 for USC.
The longtime North Carolina commitment was pursued heavily by Muschamp and the new USC staff, and eventually flipped his commitment to the Gamecocks. Muschamp put a premium on recruiting playmakers in his first signing class, and Banks fits the description.
“I think everything played out how it should have,” he said. “It was very hard to do. I had been committed to North Carolina since July. It just came down to where I felt like I could be more successful. Competition drives me, competing against the best, and the SEC is the best.”
How does Banks plan to approach his first season at South Carolina? With full speed, of course.
“What I do this season and how much I play this season is all on me,” he said. “I’m motivated to go in to try and get on the field as quickly as possible. I will listen to everything I am told. If I can do those things and stay focused, I should be able to be a great player in Columbia.”
South Carolina’s freshman WRs
Korey Banks Jr.