Confidence in Banks on rise

Renegades QB Brad Banks knows that coming into training camp he's the backup pivot to Kerry Joseph....

Renegades QB Brad Banks knows that coming into training camp he's the backup pivot to Kerry Joseph. (Ottawa Sun File Photo/Jason Ransom)

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

Quarterback Brad Banks will likely be rooming with his cousin, defensive back Korey Banks, when he moves back to Ottawa for the upcoming football season.

Ideally, they'll find something close to their Bank St. workplace.

"I'm thinking of getting with Korey," the soon-to-be 25-year-old Floridian said yesterday of his talkative and talented relative, before adding with a laugh, "but that can be a headache at times.

"He does bring a lot of energy with him."

GOT TO STRUT STUFF

For his part, the quiet Banks will be bringing confidence with him to his second Renegades camp next month -- confidence he can play and thrive in the CFL. He officially proved that last October, after spending most of his rookie season as either the team's No. 3 pivot or on the injured list with a fractured fibula.

In the Renegades' third-last game of the season -- a do-or-die situation as far as their playoff hopes went -- Banks came off the bench to complete 20-of-27 passes for 292 yards and a pair of TDs as the team fell 20-17. In Montreal the following week, with his first pro start, Banks was good on 26-of-37 throws for 317 yards and two more TDs. Alas, Ottawa dropped that one 52-21.

"That was very important to me ... it was a chance to get my feet wet," Banks said of his late-season activity. "I now know what to expect. Playing in those last few games, and a few will just be an advantage that will benefit me in the long run. The (confidence) is a lot stronger now. I feel the CFL is a great league and it does fit my style. I feel I can excel there."

For certain, Banks has always had the skill, if not the size, to shine in any league.

With his quick feet and strong arm, he spearheaded No. 3 Iowa to its first unbeaten Big Ten season in 80 years in 2002. The list of accolades bestowed on him included The Associated Press college player of the year, the Davey O'Brien Award given to the best QB in the country and the runner-up nod for the Heisman Trophy.

At 5-foot-11 and 207 lbs., he was unable to find a home in the NFL, however, and so he was convinced to come north by former Renegades GM Eric Tillman.

Banks stood out at last year's camp, enough to grab the No. 3 job. He moved up the ladder in the fall, to the point the Renegades didn't bother to re-sign Darnell Kennedy, who served as backup to starter Kerry Joseph.

Now, it's conceivable Banks could give Joseph a run for his money.

KNOWS HIS ROLE

"As of right now, I know the situation," he said. "I know my part. I'm coming in as the No. 2 guy, but I've still got to go out there and do my job, to prepare as if I was the starter. The only thing I can do is go out and practise my best, and leave the rest up to the coaches. We already know that K.J. is the guy. I'm just going to go out and approach it aggressively, make sure I do everything I need to do."


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