The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

September 19, 2013

Maryland receivers will challenge WVU

MORGANTOWN — This week is different for West Virginia University, and no one knows it better than Mountaineer cornerback Ishmael Banks.

The challenge comes from Maryland’s passing game in a quarterback named C.J. Brown throwing to the dangerous Stefon Diggs that WVU coach Dana Holgorsen compares to Tavon Austin and Deon Long, a one-time promising WVU recruit.

“They are good and will require us to be at our best,” Banks said.

His familiarity is mostly with Long.

“I went to prep school (Hargrave Military Academy) with Long, so I know more about him,” Banks said. “He runs good routes and has good hands. That’s always a challenge, but I’m sure we’re capable of sticking with him.

“Diggs is a more athletic guy. He can do it all. He makes plays when he gets the ball in his hands. With him we have to make sure we’re around him when he gets the ball.”

And they are going to have to do it while in a state of transition, last year’s starting cornerback Brodrick Jenkins being no longer a member of the team due to “an internal matter,” according to Holgorsen.

Terrell Chestnut, who had a knee injury in the Pinstripe Bowl that required surgery in January, has been promoted to the backup behind Travis Bell at the boundary position.

“We’re excited about Terrell,” Holgorsen said. “He’s been doing a good job. His knee is healing, so we’ve been wanting to get him more involved. We’ll have him in there. Avery Williams is another guy who will be getting some reps this week at corner. Daryl Worley played a good bit last week and he’s got tremendous, tremendous upside as a starting corner here for a long time.

“He does some things out there athletically that I don’t see happening very often,” Holgorsen said. “He’s got loads of potential. He can be an every-down player. It’s only a matter of time, whether it happens this year or next year or whenever.”

Banks against Long, however, is an interesting confrontation.

“We went at it a lot in the semester I was there,” Banks said of his time at Hargrave. “We chatted it up because he was committed here for a while. We talked about that a little bit. We were good friends.”

Long was going to play at WVU, even enrolled, but said he felt out of place socially and began a journey that took him to Hargrave, New Mexico, Iowa Western and finally Maryland.

“He’s bounced around. I’m glad to see he found a home where he’s comfortable. I feel like it will be exciting to play against him because I went against him a lot in practice,” Banks said.

In his own way, Banks has done some bouncing around.

He came to WVU a cornerback out of Hargrave, was moved to safety and then back to corner.

“I was always a corner,” he said. “I got moved when Coach (Joe) DeForest came in. I was always a corner at heart. That’s what I came in as.”

DeForest was the defensive coordinator last year, and whatever he did didn’t work as the defense was the worst in WVU history.

With Banks starting at corner this year, things have measurably improved.

“We have a lot to prove,” he said. “I like to say I got chips on my shoulder. Not just a chip, but chips. If we can play well, we will earn a little respect.”

With that in mind, it seemed appropriate to ask what it takes to be a successful cornerback.

“You have to have a short memory. If you get beat on a play, you have to come back and keep playing,” he noted.

Perhaps the best example of that at WVU was found in Keith Tandy, who came in as a quarterback but turned into a corner and suffered through a number of difficult games before learning how to play the position.

He wound up being drafted and with an NFL career.

“Tandy was always a technician. He did the technique of corner right. The technique Coach (David) Lockwood taught him, he accepted. He made that who he was,” Banks said.

And Banks is now establishing himself at corner, but understands that the best is yet to come.

“I see the best things still to come for me. I see me being one of the best corners West Virginia has ever had,” he said.

And to accomplish that, you have to have experience and learn from each game.

“You have to be tuned in. You have to be able to handle different things on the run,” he said. “You may have to switch up things at any time.”

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • smallwood-wendell(1)-2.jpg Charges against Smallwood dropped

     West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.
    It took him only three words to say what was on his mind: “God is Good.” Smallwood is now free to return to West Virginia and rejoin his Mountaineer teammates when they open camp for the 2014 season Thursday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charges against Smallwood dropped

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.

    July 29, 2014

  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • Seider's brother commits to WVU

    West Virginia University’s football team has received a commitment from one of its own.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides much optimism heading into 2014 season

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
    Forsey, a native of Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, was representing Team Canada. She was the first Canadian to cross the finish line in the women’s 5,000-meter run, finishing in ninth place overall in 16:02.55.

    July 26, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.
    He believes a college football coach ought to recruit a quarterback he wants, give him some help, then turn virtually everything over to him and let him go.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

    July 25, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos