Official visits in recruiting are largely the same no matter where you go, according to three-star South Carolina wide receiver signee Korey Banks.
But one event in particular did make one of Banks’ three official visits more memorable than the others, and it involved a couple other recruits, Nick Saban and a John Deere tractor
During his official visit to Tuscaloosa, Ala., in January, Banks and a couple of other recruits were riding Saban’s John Deere when the 6-foot, 170-pound Banks accidentally wrecked the tractor.
“Craziest thing that happened,” Banks said.
Banks recalls that funny moment in a recent conversation about the recruiting process with SEC Country:
Q: What was his reaction to you breaking his John Deere?
A: Oh, he didn’t even care.
Q: What school came in second? What could they have done a little better?
A: Man, I honestly didn’t even have a second place school. I just went to the school that I had the best feel with at the time. B-Mac (Bryan McClendon) had been recruiting me since I had been a junior when he was at Georgia. Then, he made the move to South Carolina, and we already had a connection.
Q: What was the most creative thing a school or coach did to get your attention?
A: To be honest with you, every single official visit was about the same. It was just about the coach that reached out to you the most, and that was coach Bryan McClendon.
The other thing was coach (Will) Muschamp coming to sit in my living room and speak with me. I was a Gators’ fan since I was originally from Florida, so I cheered for the Gators growing up. Coach Muschamp was one of those guys that I kind of idealized growing up. I just liked him when he was at Florida. I liked when he came into my living room, and B-Mac reached out to me every single day. I had some long talks with him, and he made feel welcome when I went. That’s really what it came down to: the relationships.
Q: What is the funniest thing any head coach said to you during the entire recruiting process, either on phone or in person?
A: I can’t remember, man. All the coaches were pretty funny. I can say Nick Saban dancing was pretty funny.
Q: What was your biggest regret during the recruiting process?
A: I didn’t really have any regrets, but I can say the hardest thing to do was de-commit from North Carolina because I have a strong relationship with those coaches too.
Q: Which coach was it the hardest to say no to?
A: Coach (Chris) Kap(ilovic) and coach (Larry) Fedora (at North Carolina). Coach Kap had been recruiting me since I was a 10th grader. That was a hard one.
Q: Which school disappointed you the most during recruiting?
A: Georgia. Everybody wants the home-town team, but that’s OK. I get to play them every year. That should be fun.
Q: Which college would you have considered more seriously if they had offered you earlier in the process?
A: Alabama, definitely. But I think everything played out like it should have.
Q: If you could give a junior only one piece of advice about the recruiting process, what would it be?
A: Take your time, man. That’s the main thing. Try to create good relationships with the position coach and the head coach as well, and if you play offense, try to pick the offensive coordinator and look at the role that you’re being recruited to play.
Q: If you were in charge of the NCAA, what’s the one rule you would change with recruiting?
A: The amount of official visits you get to take, and instead of only flying one person in your family, why not fly your whole family — mom, dad, brothers and sisters.