Few programs nationally are run by former offensive linemen, which gives Mario Cristobal and the Oregon Ducks a distinct advantage to recruiting elite talent in the trenches.
Sunday, that paid off with the nation's No. 2 offensive tackle and No. 14 overall player, Kelvin Banks, choosing the Oregon Ducks over schools from his home state such as Texas and Texas A&M.
The 6'5", 300-pound prospect immediately becomes the headliner of the Ducks 2022 recruiting class holding a five-star composite ranking in 247Sports. The websites own evaluators have Banks on the cusp of five-star status as the nation's No. 34 player and No. 3 offensive tackle.
Banks made five official visits in June seeing LSU (June 4th), Oregon (June 8th), Oklahoma State (June 16th), Texas (June 18th) and Texas A&M (June 24th). On July 2nd, he announced a commitment day of the United States' Independence Day.
247Sports Midlands Region Recruiting Analyst Gabe Brooks projects Banks as a second round NFL Draft pick with a player comparison to Austin Jackson.
"Big-bodied, big-framed lineman with potential for position versatility at tackle or guard. Good height and length and wears mass fairly well," wrote Brooks in January 2021."Owns a wingspan in the 6-10 range. Shows enough functional athleticism to pull across the formation and lead the way to the perimeter. Flashes some punch when arriving at the second level. Size and strength manifest in drive-blocking ability. Hand placement is generally good. Feet stay active on contact. Heavy-handed and redirects targets even when not fully able to square up to engage. Down-blocks with conviction. Plays with a wide base and uses length well in pass pro. Casts a large shadow on the edge and creates major obstacle to the QB even if not in ideal position. Not a dancer on the outside but shows deceptively good footwork as a pass-blocker. Center of gravity is naturally high and combines with inconsistency as a bender to compromise pad level/leverage at times. Foot quickness improves from sophomore to junior season, but can play more sudden in general and verified testing supports that. Gets out over his feet on occasion and can improve balance and body control. A high-floor offensive lineman who also still has significant developmental potential to provide a high ceiling in the long term. Should become a multi-year high-major starter. Possesses long-term potential to reach the early rounds of the NFL Draft."