Another day, another watchlist. This time it’s Jeremy Banks being recognized by the Butkus Award, which is given to the nation’s best linebacker. Banks was one of 51 players to be named to the watchlist — a nod to Dick Butkus, who wore the No. 51.
The SEC led all other conferences with 12 players on the list.
Jeremy Banks has had quite the career in Knoxville since signing with Jeremy Pruitt as a running back. A numbers problem on the defensive side of the ball made his position change possible, and he stuck with it. Banks was then removed from the team after an off-field incident, but worked hard to get back in good standing with the program.
He’s done that, and now has become a leader on the defensive side of the ball. Banks led the team in tackles with 128 in 2021, which was good for seventh in the country. With a real lack of depth at linebacker, Banks quickly became one of the most important players on the team, and he delivered in a big way.
Banks will slide back into the same role this fall, once again looking to lead Tennessee’s front seven. The 6-1, 225 pound thumper might just end up being drafted in the spring with another productive season.