June 25, 2008

Banks adjusts his schedule

It's a matter of time for E.J. Banks. Or perhaps more precisely, a matter of timing.

When the three-star defensive back continues his summer tours this weekend with a Saturday morning stop at Notre Dame, Banks will already have his focus on the next off-season.

The 5-foot-11, 181-pound prospect isn't planning an early commitment, with Pittsburgh, Wake Forest and Rutgers likely to receive summer trips followed by a round of official visits in the fall. But the standout from McKees Rocks, Pa., does intend to enroll early, joining his program of choice in January.

"It's just because you get a jump on school and after talking to admissions people at other schools it seems like engineering takes four-and-a-half or five years," Banks said. "You definitely get a jump on the other guys at your position too."

Banks said he's been cleared for early admission by all six of his finalists, a group that also includes Ohio State and West Virginia. Banks headed to Columbus last weekend and toured Morgantown yesterday. He was supposed to see Pitt today but was forced to reschedule, likely for next week.

With Corwin Brown and John Latina keeping tabs on Banks and this weekend representing a key recruiting weekend for the Irish with a handful of commitments heading to South Bend, Notre Dame should be able to put on a strong visit. Banks also attended the Blue-Gold Game in April.

Even with all the summer visits, don't expect a quick commitment.

"I don't think it's going to bump up my decision," Banks said. "I still plan on waiting until after I can take a few official visits and whatever school I like most, that's the one I'll choose."

How Banks fits into a school's engineering department will play a part. So too will his position on depth charts, although Banks isn't sure how much. He said he's noticed Ohio State's recent string of cornerback commitments and he's seen how West Virginia is short on defensive back talent.

"I don't see depth charts as that big a deal but when it gets closer to making a decision it might get bigger," Banks said. "When it comes down to it, I'll come in early and I'll be there before them."

As for the Irish, Banks wants to make this trip as much about Notre Dame off the field as on it. He's looking forward to getting to know Brown, Latina and Charlie Weis plus leaning more about the Irish system, but Banks also wants to spend time learning about Notre Dame's engineering program.

"I'm just trying to go down there and get a feel for the academics," Banks said.

Banks could be taking those Notre Dame courses sooner than expected.

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