JUCO linebacker Jaren Banks will transfer to South Main and be part of the 2020 Rice Football recruiting class as the Owls pluck another transfer.
The final weekend before National Signing Day was productive for the 2020 Rice Football Recruiting class. Along with the already announced transfer of former Stanford kicker Collin Riccitelli, Rice will add another transfer for the upcoming season. Junior College linebacker Jaren Banks has committed to the Owls.
Originally from Junction City, Oregon, Banks spent the last two seasons at the New Mexico Military Institute. He had 61 tackles in nine games last season, including five tackles for a loss, one fumble forced and one fumble recovery. That’s in addition to 34 tackles the year before. After a productive start to his collegiate career, Banks is ready to make the jump to Division 1.
Blaze Alldredge was the last linebacker Rice nabbed from the JUCO ranks. He set a high bar to achieve, but the Owls’ success rate on additions from junior colleges remains above the norm. Brad Rozner and Naeem Smith both excelled in their first seasons removed from JUCO in 2019. The academic rigors alone make the transition from the junior college to Rice a road less traveled. Banks’ ability to fulfill both requirements speaks to his desire and ability to continue to excel.
Banks will have two seasons of eligibility at Rice, ostensibly setting him up to play a key role in 2020 as an experienced hand, if not sooner. The 5-foot-11, 215-pound backer has prototypical size and power. He attacks the ball with ferocity and will make his presence felt in opposing backfields. Watch him explode into the backfield on the first play of his highlights below. He’s going to be fun to watch at South Main.