There was a lot of excitement generated last week by Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt when he announced that true freshman running back Jeremy Banks was moving to linebacker.
The move made perfect sense. Banks is a high energy, physical football player that’s had some problems holding on to the football.
So it was a bit of a surprise when it was reported that Banks was back at running back this week.
After all the hullabaloo about switching to linebacker — both by Jeremy Pruitt and even among multiple teammates Tuesday — Tennessee freshman Jeremy Banks was back at running back today.
— Jesse Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) October 30, 2018
On Wednesday, during the weekly SEC coaches teleconference, Pruitt explained why Banks was back at running back.
Jeremy Pruitt on Jeremy Banks moving back to RB:
“We have a couple guys banged up and we need to make sure we have enough RBs to finish out the year.”
With RBs are banged up?
“All of them.”
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) October 31, 2018
This isn’t a big surprise. The grind of the SEC schedule can take a toll on running backs.
When Banks originally requested to move to linebacker, Tennessee’s coaches told him they’d discuss the move in the spring.
I think it’s pretty clear the staff prefers Banks at linebacker, but depth just isn’t going to allow the switch this fall.
Next spring, however, I fully expect Banks to end up at linebacker. The Vols don’t have a running back currently committed to their 2019 recruiting class, but they’re heavily targeting several talented tailbacks (including four-star Michigan commit Eric Gray, who is from Memphis).
The expectation is that Tennessee will sign a running back or two in 2019, which will free up Banks to make the move to linebacker.
Featured image via Randy Sartin/USA Today