Isaiah Banks | Illini Panthers | RB
Q: Tell us about your college (or pro) career and what the recruiting/scouting process was like?
A: I’ve had success in my career thanks to coaches, teammates, friends and family. The recruiting process was very stressful and fun at the same time. I met a lot of great coaches that showed a lot of love towards me and the game of football. I chose The Illini Panthers Organization because they showed support right from the start and stayed in contact with me through the whole pandemic and I was very grateful for that.
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
A: Signing with the Illini Panthers Pro/Am team. I worked very hard and got the opportunity of a lifetime to play at the next level.
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff while playing?
A: Most important thing I’ve learned from the Coaching staff while playing at Chicago Hope Academy was to never give up. When adversity hits, you get back up and keep fighting.
Q: How was your career impacted due to the 2020 pandemic and what have you learned from the adversity?
A: The pandemic impacted my career tremendously. Not knowing where I will work out next was very stressful. From having to do a lot of home workouts with limited equipment to finding a park that was open just to do drills was very stressful as well. This really showed me how bad I really want this and how much I love the game.
Q: What was your major and what are your plans if football doesn’t work out?
A: Opening a Gym Business, that specializes in the development of athletes at all levels.
Q: What would your current/past teammates say about you and your qualities?
A: Leader on and off the field, very physical, quick, great teammate to be around, locker room guy, charismatic, and respectful towards headship and to others.
Q: What has been one of the most memorable plays of your career at any level?
A: I would say the most memorable play of my career was when I returned a 40-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown and when I scored on a 2 point conversion.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how do you manage it?
A: The whole pandemic has been the biggest challenge for me. I managed it by praying and asking god for strength through these times. Also managed it by finding different ways to excel at my position and taking every day one step at a time, not trying to rush things, just controlling what I can control and letting God do the rest.
Q: If you could compare yourself to a pro athlete, who would that be and why?
A: I would compare myself to CJ Anderson. His physicality and the way he approaches the game. I see a lot of that in myself. His attentiveness to detail And how he separates himself from other backs.
Q: What is your biggest strength that you bring to a professional team and why should pro scouts consider you?
A: Biggest strength would be my pass blocking. With this being a passing game I feel like my pass blocking is what separates me from other Running Backs. My will to do the dirty work that other backs won’t do. Pro Scouts should consider me because I believe I am a great asset to a team. I’m a Hard worker, coachable, and very respectful. I love to push myself and others around me to do the same.
Q: Are you involved in mentoring, a charity or do you “give back” or ”pay it forward” in your community?
A: Just recently this October I was asked to help out the local high school with the football program. I also volunteer at Athleticconnection in the summer. We help young athletes develop in their game. I help out a lot in my church on Sundays and Wednesdays. I go to the church very early to open up. I make sure everything is clean, presentable, and in place for us to start service so the pastor doesn’t have to worry about anything.
Q: How are you preparing for the 2021 National Scouting Combine and what are your goals?
A: A lot of working out and making sure I’m sharp in every aspect of the combine events. Changing my eating habits.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
A: I see myself making it to the next level. From my current semi pro level to professional. Whether that be the NFL or CFL etc. That would be my ultimate achievement.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when not playing football?
A: Spending time with family and friends. I’m a real big gamer and a big marvel fan, anything that the MCU comes out with I always look forward to.
Q: If you could make a positive impact on all of society what would it be and why?
A: Lead more people to Christ. In my opinion I strongly believe that we need God more now than we ever did in the past couple of years.
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
A: God, he has helped me so much through my life and my walk with him. I can’t thank him enough for what he has done for me and what he will continue to do in my life.
Q: What is something unique about you that people would find interesting?
A: My personality, I feel that my personality is one of the unique things about me that a lot of people love.
Q: What is your dream job?
A: NFL, that’s all I have been working for.