Brandon Banks

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Brandon Banks
refer to caption
Banks with the Argonauts in 2022
Personal information
Born: (1987-12-21) December 21, 1987 (age 35)
Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
Height:5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight:150 lb (68 kg)
Career information
High school:Garner
(Garner, North Carolina)
College:Kansas State
Position:Wide receiver / Return specialist
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:35
Receiving touchdowns:0
Return yards:3,793
Return touchdowns:1
Career CFL statistics
Receiving yards:5,678
Receiving touchdowns:44
Rushing touchdowns:5
Return touchdowns:13
Player stats at ·

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.[1] Banks is also currently the lightest player in the CFL at 150 pounds.[2]

Early years[edit]

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[edit]

Banks was named to the 2006 USA Today All-USA high school track and field team after posting a 10.42 in the 100-meter and a 21.44 in the 200-meter.[3]

Personal bests[edit]

Event Time (seconds) Venue Date
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

College career[edit]

Junior college[edit]

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.[4]

Kansas State[edit]

Banks transferred to Kansas State to begin the 2008 season.

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.

College statistics[edit]

Year GP Rec. Yards Avg Long TD
2008 12 67 1,049 15.7 77 9
2009 12 56 705 12.6 64 1
Total 24 123 1,754 14.3 77 10

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
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
(1.70 m)
149 lb
(68 kg)
4.33 s 1.50 s 2.53 s 4.29 s 6.88 s 33 in
(0.84 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
All values from NFL Combine
Banks during Washington Redskins training camp in 2011.

National Football League[edit]

Washington Redskins[edit]

After the 2010 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins signed Banks as an undrafted free agent on May 17, 2010.[5] 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".[6] Against the New York Jets, however, he fumbled a return and had inconsistent play against the Baltimore Ravens, which included a second lost fumble.[6] 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.[7] In Week 6 against the Indianapolis Colts, Banks blocked a 48-yard field goal attempt by Adam Vinatieri.[8][9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14] On the next play, Rex Grossman threw an interception and the Redskins went on to lose the game.[15]

Banks at Redskins training camp in 2012.

During the 2012 preseason, coach Mike Shanahan announced that he expected Banks to contribute more as receiver if he was to make the team.[16] To prepare for the season, Banks gained an additional ten pounds.[17] Against the Chicago Bears in the second game of the preseason, Banks returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] 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.

Set to become a restricted free agent for the 2013 season, it was reported that the Redskins planned on letting Banks enter free agency with no plans to re-sign him.[21]

Canadian Football League[edit]

Hamilton Tiger-Cats[edit]

Banks signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on September 30, 2013.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24][25] He recorded 1,968 combined yards during the regular season.[26] His performance earned him his first CFL All-Star award.

Banks before a Tiger-Cats game in 2019.

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).[27] 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.[28]

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.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32] Banks was also named to his 6th consecutive Divisional All-Star list.[33] Banks was later named the CFL's Most Outstanding Player for his play in the 2019 season.[34] He re-signed with the Tiger-Cats on December 31, 2020.[35] 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.[36] 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.[37] He became a free agent upon the expiry of his contract on February 8, 2022.[38]

Toronto Argonauts[edit]

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.[39] After one season with the club Banks was released by the Argos on January 3, 2023.[40]

Career statistics[edit]

General Receiving Punt Return
Year Team GP Rec Tar Yds Avg Lng TD Ret Yds Avg Lng TD
2010 WAS 12 2 5 10 5.0 8 0 38 431 11.3 53 0
2011 WAS 16 1 1 10 10.0 10 0 36 328 9.1 55 0
2012 WAS 13 8 8 15 1.9 15 0 26 178 6.8 27 0
2013 HAM 5 9 16 95 10.6 37 0 17 107 6.3 15 0
2014 HAM 14 42 58 529 12.6 69 5 60 618 10.3 97 1
2015 HAM 18 22 36 220 10.0 42 1 75 930 12.4 96 4
2016 HAM 16 32 47 376 11.8 51 4 61 588 9.6 86 1
2017 HAM 18 67 105 1,011 15.1 65 8 38 385 10.1 65 1
2018 HAM 14 94 129 1,423 15.1 78 11 19 186 9.8 34 0
2019 HAM 16 112 158 1,550 13.8 60 13 13 140 10.8 41 0
2021 HAM 10 44 70 474 10.8 34 2 15 95 6.3 16 0
2022 TOR 16 37 75 522 14.1 53 4 24 163 6.8 35 0
NFL totals 41 11 14 35 3.2 15 0 100 937 9.4 55 0
CFL totals 127 453 694 6,200 13.7 78 48 322 3,212 10.0 97 7

Personal life[edit]

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.[41] He has three children.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Steinberg, Dan (October 6, 2010). "About Brandon Banks's size". Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  2. ^ "Brandon Banks". Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Kansas State Official Athletic Site - Kansas State University". Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Brandon Banks No. 83". Kansas State Athletics. Archived from the original on February 13, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  5. ^ Brandon Banks signs with Redskins, Kansas City Star, May 17, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Brandon Banks puts excitement back in the return game, The Washington Post, September 2, 2010.
  7. ^ Brandon Banks Is Growing His Skillset, Washington Redskins, October 10, 2010.
  8. ^ Brandon Banks Blocks A Kick (Maybe), Washington Redskins, October 17, 2010.
  9. ^ Colts 27, Redskins 24: Play-By-Play, ESPN, October 17, 2010.
  10. ^ Banks Breaks Loose In a Big Way, Washington Redskins, November 1, 2010.
  11. ^ Reid, Jason (November 29, 2010). "Mike Shanahan stands behind Perry Riley". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  12. ^ Maese, Rick (November 20, 2011). "Brandon Banks finally breaks one loose". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  13. ^ "Redskins vs. Patriots: Quarter-by-quarter breakdown, game's key play". Retrieved 2011-12-11.
  14. ^ Steinberg, Dan (December 24, 2011). "Redskins-Vikings best and worst". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  15. ^ Svrluga, Barry (December 24, 2011). "Redskins loss to Vikings sealed by two key plays". Retrieved 2012-05-23.
  16. ^ Tandler, Rich (June 14, 2012). "Shanahan: Banks must contribute at WR". Retrieved 2012-06-14.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ El-Bashir, Tarik (July 23, 2012). "Banks says he's 'ready and excited'". Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
  18. ^ Larry Mayer (2012-08-21). "Write Now Blog | Toub 'very concerned' about Podlesh". Archived from the original on 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
  19. ^ Maske, Mark (August 30, 2012). "Brandon Banks runs, catches, returns against Bucs. Now he sees whether he made the Redskins roster". Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  20. ^ Jones, Mike (August 31, 2012). "Brandon Banks makes Redskins' 53-man roster". Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  21. ^ Jones, Mike (March 11, 2013). "Redskins tender restricted free agent Chris Baker, will let Brandon Banks walk". Retrieved 2013-03-11.
  22. ^ Wilkening, Mike (October 29, 2013). "Brandon Banks quickly makes impact for CFL's Tiger-Cats". Retrieved 2013-11-10.
  23. ^ Allen, SCott. "Former Redskins return man Brandon Banks leads Hamilton to Grey Cup with two punt return TDs". Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  24. ^ Mingo, Rita (2014-11-30). "Stamps beat Ticats 20-16 to claim 102nd Grey Cup". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2014-11-30.
  25. ^ "Play by Play". Archived from the original on December 1, 2014. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  26. ^ "CFL East Final: Ticats' Banks could be difference vs. Als". November 20, 2014. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  27. ^ "Ticats' Brandon Banks suspended for two games for violating drug policy". 2016-10-19. Retrieved 2016-10-19.
  28. ^ "Mitchell, Jackson announced as Most Outstanding Player nominees". Retrieved 2016-11-10.
  29. ^ "Brandon Banks excelling as receiver with Ticats under head coach Jones". National Post. 2017-10-24. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  30. ^ "Banks out for season with broken clavicle -". 2018-10-19. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  31. ^ "Report: Ticats bring back Banks on two-year deal". 2019-01-26. Retrieved 2019-01-28.
  32. ^ Press, The Canadian (2019-10-26). "Dane Evans, Brandon Banks have career-days to lead Hamilton Tiger-Cats past Montreal Alouettes -". TSN. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
  33. ^ "2019 CFL Division All-Stars Announced -". 6 November 2019.
  34. ^ "Speedy MOP: Banks takes home Most Outstanding Player -". 22 November 2019.
  35. ^ "CFL's reigning Most Outstanding Player Banks re-signs with Tiger-Cats". December 31, 2020. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  36. ^ "Opinion | Brandon Banks' rib injury forces him out of Friday's Labour Day rematch in Toronto". The Hamilton Spectator. 2021-09-10. ISSN 1189-9417. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  37. ^ Press, The Canadian (2021-10-20). "Brandon Banks Hamilton Tiger-Cats first team practice -". TSN. Retrieved 2021-10-22.
  38. ^ "Transactions – Football player trades and signings". Canadian Football League. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  39. ^ "Argos add 2019 MOP Brandon Banks". Toronto Argonauts. February 13, 2022.
  40. ^ "Argos Parting Ways With WR Brandon Banks". Toronto Argonauts. 2023-01-03. Retrieved 2023-01-03.
  41. ^ Barry Svrluga (11 December 2010). "Redskins' Brandon Banks, reunited with childhood friend John Wall and providing big returns". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 May 2011.

External links[edit]