Ohio State football: Can Sevyn Banks match expectations?

The Ohio State football team is really hoping that Sevyn Banks can play to his full potential in the 2021 season.

No two words in any language have caused fans and media alike to sour on a player more than POTENTIAL and EXPECTATIONS. I don’t blame players for this. They are not the ones writing articles, giving their opinion on talk shows, or burning up message boards with their opinion.

A player’s past performance or physical skills lead fans and media to set a high bar for the player. Sometimes the bar is too high and no matter what a player does he can’t meet the expectations or live up to the potential others see in him.

I don’t think there is another player on the Ohio State football roster who has suddenly had such high expectations thrust on him–because of what some see as unlimited potential–more so than cornerback Sevyn Banks.

Just after the latest NFL Draft was complete, Banks’ name began appearing on lists of top cornerbacks for next year’s. Countless mock drafts have him going in the first round in 2022. I’ve seen him rated as high as the number two cornerback and taken as high as fourteenth in one mock draft.

The question is, why? Although some think he had a fantastic 2020 after stepping in for an injured Cam Brown, others, including myself, feel he had an up and down year. At times, he really showed his ability, but we didn’t see it often enough. So, why the lofty expectations for Banks?

If you look at mock drafts this time of year, you notice a lot of guys who haven’t really made a big impact so far in their careers. These evaluators are looking at which players have a lot of room for growth. Players who are considered to have a high ceiling, but haven’t approached it yet.

Banks is thought to be one of those players. They also love his size. He’s a sturdy 6’1”, 200 pounds. There is one other factor they all point to as well. Ohio State football’s legacy of producing elite cornerbacks. Banks is very much considered the next in that long line of shutdown pass defenders.

If I have one concern about Banks being able to reach the bar being set for him it is his missing spring practice again. Last year was unavoidable due to Ohio State shutting it down after just a few workouts. Once again this year, Banks missed nearly all of Spring practice.

This time it was because of an undisclosed injury. You don’t worry about some guys missing all or most of those fifteen sessions. We know a player like Haskell Garrett, who missed spring practice as well, can consistently play at a high level.

Banks has not yet shown he can achieve that level time after time. He needed those practice reps to begin to develop into a reliable shutdown cornerback every play. My hope is he gained enough experience last year to offset the missed time this spring.

The senior from Orlando has two interceptions and ten pass breakups in his career. One of those interceptions came late in OSU’s semifinal win over Clemson this past season (watch that here). Banks is hoping to make his final season in a scarlet and gray uniform his best yet. The Buckeyes need that from him to help the defense return to a dominating unit.