Quintin Banks’ talent or drive were never much of a question. His knees, unfortunately, almost always were. According to Rivals.com, Banks was the #11 safety in the nation coming out of high school in 2006. Banks played in 12 games as a redshirt freshman in 2007 and seemed poised to become another dependable Georgia defensive back. But he tore an MCL during the 2008 preseason and missed the first month of the season. He was able to go for the Tennessee game and then had another injury the very next week that sidelined him for the rest of the 2008 campaign. Lingering knee concerns held him out of all but four games in 2009.
Those knee problems have continued into 2010, and Banks has finally decided it was time to hang it up. It has to be tough for the senior to give up one more chance at getting back on the field, but our bodies ultimately call the shots. When you look at it the way Mark Richt put it, the decision becomes a lot easier:
“He wants to be able to run around and play with his kids one day. He didn’t want to sit there and have to think about a knee replacement at a very young age, so I think a lot of those things crossed his mind.”
Banks will remain on as a student assistant before facing more knee surgery down the road. His experience and attitude will be very important for a safety position that’s become short on depth and experience.
Banks becomes the fourth safety with eligibility remaining to leave the team over the past year and a half. John Knox’s academic struggles caused him to leave before the 2009 season. Rashad Jones of course was an early entrant into the NFL draft. Makiri Pugh announced his intention to transfer this spring.
Both safety positions now come down to a group of five players. We’ve heard good things this week about the trio of Rambo, Nick Williams, and Jakar Hamilton. The depth is provided by Shawn Williams and Alec Ogletree. Think about the experience of that group. Rambo of course had an impressive 2009 coming mostly off the bench. Nick Williams has shifted between linebacker and the secondary during his career, and he has a total of nine tackles in 24 appearances in 2008 and 2009. Shawn Williams saw limited action last year as a freshman but had a nice finish in the bowl game. Hamilton and Ogletree are newcomers. Both are very highly regarded prospects, and Hamilton is a little more advanced as a JUCO transfer, but both are going to have to come up to speed quickly to give Georgia any kind of depth at the position.