Few Georgia Southern Eagles fans had heard of William Banks before this season, but the walk-on tailback is proving that he is a vital part of the Eagles offense.
Last Saturday's game provides example to how overlooked the running back has been this season. The public address announcer claimed that Dominique Swope would start for the Eagles at fullback, even though Swope was sidelined with a concussion. Banks is also not listed in the team's media guide, nor is any information available on the team's website.
Even coach Jeff Monken had little expectations for Banks this season, telling reporters:
"Banks was so far down the depth chart, we didn't think he would be in the mix. He's not fast, he doesn't have great feet, he's just a tough kid who works hard."
Despite being overlooked, Banks is carving out a role in the Eagles offense. Banks ran for 129 yards and three touchdowns against Appalachian State on Saturday. He also rushed for 69 yards against Chattanooga, and 101 yards at Western Carolina.
Banks is the younger brother of former Georgia Southern running back Lee Banks. Banks came to GSU as a walk-on in 2009, was hurt the following season, and spent last year on the scout team. Still, Banks never felt like quitting the team, and is being rewarded for his effort.