Louisville Football Looks To Defensive Line With Commitment Of 2021 NT Caleb Banks

Louisville Football has been looking to wrap up the 2021 class. It has remained largely in tact with the exception of the de-commitment of Zen Michalski. The defensive side of the ball is where the a lot of the focus has been for this class. The latest commitment continues with that focus as the Cards have gotten a commitment from 2021 3 Star NT Caleb Banks.

Banks is a big guy standing 6’6 and weighing in at 255 lbs. 247sports listed a litany of offers for the 929th-ranked overall prospect in the 2021 class. Some of those offers include Michigan State, Arizona State, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Indiana, and Iowa State among many others. Banks is rated the 58th-best prospect at his position in the class. Running Backs Coach Norvel McKenzie and Defensive Line Coach Mark Ivey were UofL’s main recruiters for Banks.

Banks plays both OT and DE for Southfield A&T High School in Southfield, MI. If that high school sounds familiar, it is. Current freshman WR Christian Fitzpatrick played at Southfield before becoming a Card. Banks was previously committed to Arizona State before de-committing on October 22nd.

Caleb Banks Highlights

Shawn broke down Caleb’s highlights. I will be focusing on Banks as a DE as it appears that is the position Louisville is recruiting him for.

Shawn’s Breakdown

Caleb Banks is impressive physically standing 6’6 and weighing 255 lbs. He’s a two-way player as is typical for many high school athletes. Banks plays both OT and DE for his high school. It appears he is being recruited as a DL. What’s interesting is our own Dalton Pence is hearing Banks is being eyed as a DT. At first, this shocked me because of the havoc he caused in his highlights from the DE position. However, in knowing what the staff wants from their interior lineman, it does make sense. They value guys that’s are strong, but quick and agile. As they look to use technique and speed to cause havoc on the interior of the line rather than brute strength.

When watching Caleb’s highlights, the first thing that really stands out is his burst at the snap. As with many positions, there’s definitely a particular set of skills Louisville defensive coaches look for in defensive linemen. One of them is get off. Banks is very good at this. He gets out of his stance at the snap of the ball as a sprinter does at the blast of a gun. This allows him to sometimes go untouched into the back field to sack the QB or drag down the RB for a tackle for loss. I can see this ability being utilized well on the interior of Louisville’s defensive line against slower OCs and OGs. He should be able to utilize this ability to beat those slower interior offensive linemen to a spot and either get tackles for loss or allow the linebacking corps free reign in the opponent backfield.

The speed Banks possesses is excellent for a player his size. He can really fly and it’s evident when you see him fly to a QB who took a 7-step drop and get to him just after he sets. The QB didn’t know what hit him. His speed will allow him to really beat those interior linemen to spots and cause havoc in the back field. Bryan Brown loves for his linemen to slant and use angles rather than just brute force and Banks can do this and will be able to do this.

Strength is something that Banks isn’t lacking. He is able to fight through blocks and sometimes bully offensive linemen. One play, he takes an inside lane and the offensive lineman has him blocked, but he gets leverage, fights through the block, and tackles the RB while still being blocked by the offensive lineman. It was quite a play. We also see him destroy defenders as an offensive lineman which is another display of his strength.

Banks plays with a high motor and is an excellent tackler. Every play he brings the energy and often times overwhelms opponents with it. Even when he’s blocked, he doesn’t give up and continues to push. That’s something Louisville values and needs out of its interior defensive linemen. When he gets to QBs or ball carriers he rips them and drives them into the ground. He lays good, clean, HARD legal hits on the opposing QBs and RBs. He will wrap up and drive with his legs, but even if he can’t wrap up, his strength allows him to drag guys to the ground. Especially when he’s making a tackle from behind.

Caleb Banks will likely line up at both DE and DT for Louisville. His size, strength, speed, and explosion off the snap are excellent; with his speed and explosion being his most impressive attributes. After watching his highlights, I feel like he will be a contributor late in his freshman season and a significant contributor, if not starter as a sophomore. It’s hard to know this will happen, but he has a lot of the same attributes some of the best defenders on the current team. This is a great addition to the 2021 class.

With Caleb Banks commitment, Louisville now has the 30th-ranked class in the country and 6th-ranked class in the ACC according to 247sports. The Cards have the 2021 class about wrapped up.


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