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Texas ‘definitely at the top’ for top-ranked 2021 ATH Shadrach Banks

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A key relationship has helped the dynamic Houston North Shore star feel at home in Austin.

SB Nation: Joe Hamilton

Since stepping foot on the Forty Acres a few years ago, Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman and his staff have done their best to load up on elite-level playmakers, and Houston North Shore star Shadrach Banks certainly fits the description.

Just a junior-to-be, Banks is the top-ranked athlete in the 2021 class, per 247Sports, and he’s being recruited as such. With more than two dozen offers to his name, Banks is among the most coveted talents in his class, and at this early juncture, a few familiar names are headlining his recruitment.

“It’s going great,” Banks told BON of the recruiting process. “A lot of schools standing out that I like. Alabama, UT, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and LSU.”

The home-state Longhorns, in particular, are in an ideal early position. The versatile four-star talent has toured the Forty Acres on multiple occasions, and from top-to-bottom, Banks raved about the entire experience as Texas. As a result, Texas is atop Banks’ mind these days.

“They’re definitely at the top,” Banks said of Texas. “When I go there, I feel like I’m at home. I feel like I’m welcomed and it’s a great place to be. The games are great environments. Great fans, great students, great players, great coaches. Everything is great about it.”

Banks’ most recent trip to the Forty Acres came just weeks ago for the Longhorns Junior Day. Surprisingly, though, despite previously visiting the Longhorns for events such as the USC game last September, Banks said his latest trip to Texas was his best yet.

“I had a great time. It was the best time I’ve had since going there,” Banks said. “I think it’s because all of the other times I went there, I didn’t have an offer. But this time I went I had the offer and I feel more comfortable being there. I feel more at home.”

Wide receivers coach Corby Meekins can largely be credited for Banks feeling at home in Austin. Beyond the simple relationship-building that takes place throughout the recruiting process, Banks can relate especially closely with Meekins in that prior to taking his own talents to Texas, Meekins spent 15 years on staff at Houston Westfield High School, including 11 as the head coach, before a brief stint on Herman’s staff at Houston.

Given that Houston connection between the two, it’s to be expected that Meekins is headlining the Horns pursuit of the North Shore star, who could play any number of positions.

Some see Banks as an outside linebacker with elite upside, and he could quite possibly play safety, as well. Where the 6’0, 207-pound prospect really shines, however, is at wide receiver.

Last season as a headlining contributor throughout North Shore’s state championship campaign, Banks hauled in 60 receptions for 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns, and this was all done as a sophomore thriving among 6A competition; the highest classification in Texas high school football.

“I think it was a pretty good season,” Banks said of his sophomore season. “I did some pretty good things, the team did some pretty big things.”