|Born:||December 21, 1987|
Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
|Height:||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Weight:||150 lb (68 kg)|
(Garner, North Carolina)
|Position:||Wide receiver / Return specialist|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Career CFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · CFL.ca|
Brandon Desean Banks (born December 21, 1987) is an American Canadian football wide receiver and return specialist who is currently a free agent. He was most recently a member of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was signed by the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL) as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He played college football at Bakersfield College and Kansas State. Originally coming into the NFL at 149 pounds, Banks was the lightest active player in the league. Banks is also currently the lightest player in the CFL at 150 pounds.
Banks was a four-year starter and two-time all-conference selection at Garner Magnet High School in Garner, North Carolina. He led the Trojans to three consecutive conferences championships and a 33–5 record over his final three seasons. In 2017, he was inducted into the school Hall of Fame.
Track and field
|60 meters||6.80||Landover, Maryland||March 12, 2006|
|100 meters||10.42||Greensboro, North Carolina||June 16, 2006|
|200 meters||21.44||Greensboro, North Carolina||June 29, 2006|
As a Bakersfield College Renegade, Banks earned first-team All-America honors from JC Gridwire as an all-purpose player/wide receiver. He was also named a PrepStar JUCO All-American. He helped lead Bakersfield to a No. 1 national ranking, a 12–1 record on the season and a berth in the Southern California championship game. His 15 touchdowns set a school record.
Banks became the second straight Wildcat to earn offensive newcomer of the year accolades after Deon Murphy took the honor in 2007. In all, Kansas State has had eight players earn conference newcomer of the year honors since 1996.
He had one of the best seasons in school history for a junior wide receiver after collecting 67 receptions for 1,049 yards and nine touchdowns. He became the sixth player in school history to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season and his 67 catches and 1,049 receiving yards were the most by a Wildcat junior for a single season.
Banks also contributed on special teams in 2008 as he collected 498 yards on 18 kickoff returns and five punt returns for 58 yards. His 98-yard kickoff return against Nebraska tied for the fifth-longest in school history. Banks' 1,731 total all-purpose yardage in 2008 ranks fifth in single-season school history, while his 144.2 all-purpose yards per game mark checks in at No. 8 on the Kansas State single-season records chart. He was a first team Big 12 Conference selection on special teams and he was a second team All-American his senior year.
|Height||Weight||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump|
|5 ft 7 in
|4.33 s||1.50 s||2.53 s||4.29 s||6.88 s||33 in
|9 ft 5 in|
|All values from NFL Combine|
National Football League
After the 2010 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins signed Banks as an undrafted free agent on May 17, 2010. He returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown in the first preseason game against the Buffalo Bills on August 13, 2010, and was shortly thereafter given the nickname, "Crazy Legs Banks". Against the New York Jets, however, he fumbled a return and had inconsistent play against the Baltimore Ravens, which included a second lost fumble. The Redskins released Banks on September 26, 2010, but re-signed him to the practice squad on September 29. In his first regular season NFL game, Banks returned his first punt 51 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles which set up a Redskin touchdown. In Week 5 against the Green Bay Packers, his responsibilities expanded to include both punt and kick return duties. Banks recorded three punt returns for 47 yards and two kickoff returns for 33 yards, while a 62-yard kickoff return was negated by a holding penalty. In Week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts, Banks blocked a 48-yard field goal attempt by Adam Vinatieri. On October 31, 2010 against the Detroit Lions, Banks totaled 271 return yards, setting a franchise record. His 96-yard kickoff return midway through the fourth quarter was the Redskins' first kick return for a touchdown in 70 games, and the first of Banks' career. In Week 12, Banks ran a 77-yard punt return in a home game against the Minnesota Vikings for a touchdown to give the Redskins a lead late in the game, but a penalty called on Perry Riley negated the return and the Redskins lost.
Starting the 2011 season off slow, Banks would finally have an impressive 55-yard punt return before being pushed out of bounds in the second game against the Dallas Cowboys. In Week 14 against the New England Patriots, Rex Grossman gave the ball to Roy Helu, who then gave it to Banks; Banks then threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss. The pass was the first of Banks' career.
Later in Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings, Banks took a reverse handoff for a 59-yard touchdown run, but just like his punt return touchdown in the previous meeting between the two teams in the 2010 season, it was nullified by a penalty on Darrel Young. On the next play, Rex Grossman threw an interception and the Redskins went on to lose the game.
During the 2012 preseason, coach Mike Shanahan announced that he expected Banks to contribute more as receiver if he was to make the team. To prepare for the season, Banks gained an additional ten pounds. Against the Chicago Bears in the second game of the preseason, Banks returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown. In the last preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he caught a 47-yard pass from Kirk Cousins, as well as rushed for 43 yards on a reverse. Banks made the final 53-man roster by the start of the 2012 season after much controversy over whether or not he could contribute to the team as more than a return specialist. After being ineffective for most of the season, Banks was put on the inactive list in the Week 14 game against the Baltimore Ravens as the Redskins used Niles Paul and Richard Crawford to take over his return duties.
Canadian Football League
Banks signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on September 30, 2013. He played in the final 4 regular season games of the 2013 CFL season with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was named the Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 18 of the 2013 CFL season for returning a missed field goal for the game-winning touchdown to clinch home-field advantage in the Eastern Semi-finals. In his second season in the league Banks returned two punts for touchdowns in the Tiger-Cats's 40-24 win over the Montreal Alouettes in the Eastern Final, advancing the Tiger-Cats to the 102nd Grey Cup. An additional punt return was called back because of a penalty. In the 102nd Grey Cup, Banks recorded a 45-yard receiving touchdown, while an apparent punt return touchdown with under a minute left in the game was called back due to an illegal block. He recorded 1,968 combined yards during the regular season. His performance earned him his first CFL All-Star award.
Banks saw a reduced workload in the receiving game in his third season in the CFL, despite playing in all 18 regular season games. He caught 22 passes for 220 yards, but carried the ball a career-high 20 times for 87 yards. He set personal bests across the board in both punt and kick return. In total he touched the ball 164 times (average of 9.1 times a game) for 2,070 yards with six touchdowns. He was named a CFL All-Star for the second consecutive season.
Banks played in the first 15 games of the 2016 regular season before being suspended for two of the final three games of the year: He tested positive for a banned substance (Methylenedioxyamphetamine). Banks finished the season having amassed 2,082 kickoff return yards and scoring three return touchdowns. He was the East division nomination for Special Teams Player of the Year.
Banks had a breakout season as a wide receiver in 2017, setting new career highs in receptions (67) yards (1,011) and touchdowns (8). For the first eight games of the season under head coach Kent Austin Banks only caught eight passes for 52 yards, however under new head coach June Jones Banks' involvement and productivity skyrocketed. In the final 10 games of the season Banks caught 59 passes for 959 yards with eight touchdowns. Banks improved on his strong 2017 season, with an even more productive 2018 season; catching setting new career highs in receptions (94) yards (1,423) and touchdowns (11). He suffered a broken clavicle in the team's Week 19 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks, causing him to miss the remainder of the season. At the time of the injury Banks was second in the league in receptions and yards, and tied for first with teammate Luke Tasker for most receiving touchdowns. On January 28, 2019 Banks and the Tiger-Cats agreed to a two-year contract extension. Banks continued his excellent play into the 2019 season where in the penultimate game of the season he set the franchise record for most receptions in a season with 112. Banks was also named to his 6th consecutive Divisional All-Star list. Banks was later named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player for his play in the 2019 season. He re-signed with the Tiger-Cats on December 31, 2020. The 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Banks played in the first four games of the 2021 season catching 22 passes for 172 yards before suffering a rib injury. The injury caused him to miss the next three games, before briefly returning to action in Week 9, and then also missing Week 10 due to lingering pain. He became a free agent upon the expiry of his contract on February 8, 2022.
On February 13, 2022, it was announced that Banks had signed with the Toronto Argonauts. He won his first ever Grey Cup with the Argonauts in Regina, Saskatchewan on November 20, 2022 the 109th Grey Cup. After one season with the club Banks was released by the Argos on January 3, 2023.
Banks is known for performing the John Wall Dance as his touchdown celebration. Banks is good friends with John Wall, who plays point guard with the Los Angeles Clippers. They both grew up together in the Raleigh, North Carolina area and at one point in time both played professionally in Washington, D.C. He has three children.
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- "Brandon Banks excelling as receiver with Ticats under head coach Jones". National Post. 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
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