Jeremy Pruitt confirmed on Monday after practice that linebacker Jeremy Banks is back with the team.
Pruitt: We’ve put a plan in place for Jeremy Banks, and he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. We’re excited to have him back and looking forward to giving him a second chance.— GoVols247 (@GoVols247) August 17, 2020
Banks was originally part of the 2018 transition recruiting class for Jeremy Pruitt. He was a 3-star recruit out of Memphis, originally expected to contribute at running back. While he became known for his bruising style of play, he also became known for having a fumble issue, and was quickly switched over to the inside linebacker position. He played sparingly in a reserve role and was expected to play more in 2020 once some starters from 2019 graduated.
That never happened. Banks was arrested in September 2019 for a failure to appear in court, stemming from a traffic ticket. It wasn’t until October when the arrest video was released. In it, Banks tells one of the officers “You don’t wanna be an intern because where I’m from we shoot at cops. I’m from Memphis, Tennessee.” These comments, in addition to others, are what ultimately caused him to be removed from the program.
There was also another incident in August where Banks allegedly threatened to slap a female student outside a party. It is unclear whether there was any legal punishment for this, or if it was simply a student code of conduct violation.
Reports surfaced this summer that Banks was working out with the team once again, and a reinstatement could be on the horizon. He had remained enrolled at the university and was rumored to be working his way back into good graces with the coaching staff. Today’s news confirms those rumors.
Banks is expected to compete for reps at inside linebacker. It is unknown right now whether he will still have to serve a punishment with the team, or any other conditions of his reinstatement.
The original story with his dismissal can be found here.