“I’ve always looked up to my Dad.” Tyler Banks (right) with father, Joe Banks


ACC’s Eagles make offer, hope to land local stand-out

Tyler Banks of Blackstone barely has his driver’s license, hasn’t even started his junior year at Nottoway High School, and already has a full scholarship offer to play NCAA Division I football.

The ACC’s Boston College Eagles are the first school in the country to make a verbal offer to Nottoway’s 6’ 2,” 210-lb. quarterback.

Banks, however, says he’s being recruited as an outside linebacker by Boston College’s new head coach, Jeff Hafley. Hafley, who was hired at BC in December, just so happens to be the former co-defensive coordinator at national powerhouse Ohio State University. He knows defensive potential when he sees it.

Under Hafley, the Buckeyes’ defense last year jump ed from 72nd nationally in 2018, to first nationally in 2019 in allowing fewest yards per play from scrimmage.

Banks’ head coach at Nottoway, Glen Pettis, sent several ACC schools a video of his versatile, bright QB, who carries a 3.9 Grade Point Average. Banks also has heard from Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and the SEC’s South Carolina Gamecocks.

Banks, 16, says other schools that have his interest are University of Virginia, Ohio State, Oregon, and Oregon State. A virtual tour of several PAC-12 schools has Banks not ruling-out a trip across the country. “I was really impressed by the facilities that I saw while searching online.”

But during an interview at his 6th Street home, Banks clearly indicates the team he’d most like to play for is Virginia Tech. That’s where his cousin, returning senior Rayshard Ashby (#23) -- formerly of L. C. Bird High School in Richmond -- was the Hokies’ leading tackler last season and was Second Team All-ACC at linebacker.

Nottoway’s QB says his role model on the field is cousin Rayshard, but away from sports, it’s his father, Joe Banks. The two have grown even closer following the 2016 death of his mother, Kitty, who succumbed to cancer. “I’ve always looked up to my Dad.” Joe Banks explained how

Joe Banks explained how Boston College carefully adhered to NCAA regulations. “They couldn’t call us directly. They called Coach Pettis, and then we received a message from the high school to call a number provided by Boston Collge.”

Tyler Banks returned the message and smiles when recalling the conversation with BC’s Coach Hafley. “He said, ‘Please remember that when you hear from all those other schools, that we were the first to make you an offer.’”

Tyler has been busy staying in shape this Summer, partly

by working in the heat for Hal Stone’s “All About Grass.” He admits being worried about high school football being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but remains hopeful.

“It might be delayed, but I think we’re going to have a season. I sure hope we do. Looking at other states, I believe we’ll have high school football, in some form, in Virginia. I sure hope so.”

Nottoway is expecting to return starters at several key positions, including Banks at QB. For years, basketball had been Bank’s favorite sport.

“Football really grew on me last season, having a chance to lead the team and play a big role in the team.”

Banks’ favorite memories on the gridiron so far include a three-TD performance last year against Amelia, and a hard-fought win at Goochland. “That game against Amelia, I felt I couldn’t be stopped.”

Wherever football takes him, Banks says he plans to study Engineering, Architecture, or Urban Planning. His favorite and strongest subjects are Science and History.

Peter Jones, Nottoway High School’s Athletic Director, has taught Banks in Honors English and offers him high praise. “He’s very motivated -- not only athletically but academically. He’s always been inquisitive and very respectful in the classroom. His work ethic has gotten him to this point, and I see it serving him well throughout his life. He also has all the physical tools and leadership skills you like to see. That combination leads to opportunities. He is an impressive young man, and we are very proud of him.”

Nottoway’s Head Football Coach, Glen Pettis, told the Courier-Record, “Tyler Banks is a great young man with an awesome work ethic on the field and in the classroom. He has a 3.9 G.P.A. It was a great feeling making that call to Tyler and his father Joe Banks to tell them the GREAT NEWS. I believe there will be more offers coming after Sept 1st.”

Banks says he pulls for the Hokies in college football, the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL, and his favorite pro QB is Cam Newton, which is fitting for the Cougars’ version of “Superman.”

The Boston College Eagles, who play in the ACC’s Atlantic Division against Dabo Sweeney’s national powerhouse Clemson, went 6-7 last year (4-4 in ACC), losing in the Birmingham Bowl to Cincinnati, 38-6.

Blackstone Courier Record

111 Maple St.

Blackstone, VA 23824

(434) 292-3019