TALLAHASSEE — Houston (Texas) Dekaney four-star cornerback Marcus Banks officially visited Florida State from Saturday morning through Monday morning along with his mother.
“It went great,” Banks said. “I’ve always been an FSU fan since I was little so it was good coming back and enjoying the visit. Having a good bond with the coaches and everything like that.”
Banks, who is the son of former Seminole offensive lineman Bobby Meeks, was glad to visit his father’s alma mater. Meeks, who has passed, had spoken with his son previously about the school.
“Yeah we always talked about Florida State and the good traditions they had,” Bank said. “It was great coming back, seeing everything, getting to know the players and the coaches. It was overall a good feeling.”
“They were cool,” Banks said. “They let me come in like I was already a player there. Made me feel real comfortable. We hung out, played some video games. Played Madden. Had a little Madden tournament. They were real cool.”
FSU is interested in the 6-foot-1, 170-pound defensive back as a corner. He has primarily dealt with his prospective position coach. That was the same story during his visit.
“Coach Barnett, deal with him a lot,” Banks said. “Got to talk to Coach [Willie] Taggart. Really who I just usually deal with is Coach Barnett.
“It was real comfortable. He’s like the other coaches, real laid back. Easy to talk to,” Banks added about Barnett. “Always use this analogy, they say you don’t feel like you’re getting recruited, it doesn’t feel like recruiting really. It feels like just hanging out with some real cool guys. Laidback talking with the coaches. It just feels comfortable talking with them.
“They said they really need corners,” Banks continued. “They said they’re taking seven corners in the class, that they only travel only with seven corners right now, and they’re in need of taller, lengthier corners that can run. I feel like, they said that they’re real short at the position right now so they’re going to need guys like me to come in. They said I’d be playing boundary corner for them, just locking down, playing man coverage. They play a lot of press, so they said my style of play would fit their system good.”
The visit impressed, but nothing came as a major surprise.
“I wouldn’t say surprise, because I always have high expectations for a Florida State. But, you know, it was overall great,” Banks said. “This was probably the best food I had on all the official visits. A matter of fact, the honeyfried chicken, that was good. I had some of the good chicken, the good food. Had some good macaroni. I guess you could say the food surprised me, but nothing surprised me because I always had high expectations for it.”
He also spent time with head coach Willie Taggart.
“Coach Taggart, he’s a family guy. He really cares about his players. He always says ‘players first.’ He wants to change the culture around here to get really focused on your degree. And just make it a point that everybody has a job,” Banks said of Taggart. “He really preached to me that he cares about my well-being, not just football, because he understands that some places you preach football all the time. Him, it’s different. He preached to me that if I come here, he’s going to take care of me. Coaches are going to take care of me. He even told the coaches before he hired them ‘look, if you don’t take care of the players, you can’t be a part of this team. So he’s really preaching to me about the atmosphere, how it’s going to be here. Preaching to me that it’s a family atmosphere.”
On Sunday evening, Banks and his mother attended FSU’s Football Banquet. It was one of the final parts of his visit.
“It was a nice banquet. They had the band going there playing. The band livened it up a little bit. They had a few highlight tapes and stuff like that. Coach Taggart made it a point of emphasis that he was proud of all the seniors, the way they fought through and he also emphasized that it won’t be like this for long,” Banks said. “He said they need to recruit guys who can come in and turn the whole culture around, just like how Florida state used to be.”
Entering his visit to FSU, the Seminoles had ground to make up on Texas A&M and Alabama. It appears they have risen to the level of those two SEC schools.
“Florida State, they’re pretty much in the picture as well with A&M and Alabama. They’re all on an even level right now,” Banks said. “I’m just going to keep on praying on it and once January 5th comes, I’m pretty sure I’ll have a decision made up by then.”
FSU is due for an in-home visit with head coach Willie Taggart in a little over a week.
Banks is set to officially visit Florida next weekend. That will mark his final visit.
A final decision is expected to come from Banks at the All-American Bowl on Jan. 5, 2019 on NBC.
Texas A&M leads on the 247Sports.com Crystal Ball. Alabama and LSU, where he was previously committed, also claim predictions.
The 247Sports.com Composite Rankings consider Banks the No. 28 cornerback in the nation.