East Paulding (Dallas, Ga.) defender Ladarius Banks enjoyed a successful sophomore season in 2009 and the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder is looking to turn things up a notch this year.
"I'm a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker," said Banks, who totaled 55 tackles with five sacks and two pass deflections last season. "I'm very explosive. That's what I'd say my strength is. I've worked hard with my dad and my coaches on getting a quick first step."
The Raiders, after a 5-5 season in the Georgia 5A ranks, move down to 4A in 2010 and that could pay dividends.
"We were playing with the big boys in 5A and we had a lot of talent," said Banks, "but our seniors didn't step up properly. I was only a sophomore, so I had to play that role, but this year I'm taking more of a leadership role and the coaches expect that from me."
Banks (275-pound bench, 450-pound squat, 4.9 in the 40-yard dash) is already blessed with great size and appears to be on track towards blossoming into a big-time recruit over the next two years.
He's camped at Miami, Georgia Tech, Central Florida, and Auburn and says that he'd really like to hear more from Auburn in the future. Banks has a 3.3 GPA and scored an 1140 on his initial SAT.