Former Hawkeye quarterback to host camp in Iowa City
Brad Banks is back in Iowa City.
But this time he’s not shredding opposing secondaries or gliding past oncoming linebackers in Kinnick Stadium.
Instead, the former Hawkeye quarterback (2001-02) will impart his football knowledge to eager youngsters at his first skills camp in Iowa City on Saturday.
Although this marks the first time Banks has been able to hold such an event in Iowa City, it’s been a long time coming.
“It’s been a while that I’ve been considering doing this,” said Banks, who now resides in West Palm Beach, Fla. “The thing with me has always been being able to have the time to do it.”
Banks’ involvement in the Canadian Football League — where he most recently played professional football — has hindered his desire to set up a camp. The Canadian season begins with training camp in May and concludes with the Grey Cup game — the league’s championship — in November.
Now, he finally has a chance to follow through, and he said he is excited to do so — and he won’t be alone. Banks credited an outpouring of support from ex-teammates and other former Hawkeyes for making arranging the camp a breeze.
The Belle Glade, Fla., native will be joined by a number of other former Iowa players, including NFL All-Pro Nate Kaeding, Ed Hinkel, Alex Kanellis, Marcus Schnoor, and LaVar Woods.
Woods, who played linebacker at Iowa from 1996-00 and is entering his third season as an administrative assistant with the Hawkeye football program, said he was excited when Banks approached him about instructing at the camp.
“Anytime you can help out a former Hawk, it’s obviously a good thing,” Woods said.
“The things [Banks has] done at the University of Iowa have been nothing short of amazing,” he said. “Being able to come back, and teach these kids, and help better their football careers is something I think is pretty special.”
Although Woods missed playing with Banks at Iowa by one season, he said that he still wouldn’t be able to tag the former quarterback with a tackle Saturday.
“Brad’s too quick for me,” Woods joked.
Although Banks’ departure from the Canadian cleared his schedule enough to give him an opportunity to hold the camp, he may be soon be short on free time once again.
Banks, whose most recent professional football stint was with the Montréal Alouettes, received a call from the United Football League’s Omaha Nighthawks on Wednesday. The 2002 Heisman Trophy runner-up will head to Omaha July 22 to begin participating in the team’s mini-camp.
The opportunity is one Banks said he is looking forward to, but for now, he’s focused on making Saturday’s camp a success.
He said he hopes to continue the camp annually.
“[I want to] really teach [the kids] all the things that I’ve learned and pass it down to them so they may learn and better themselves as players and people as well,” Banks said. “Put in them the integrity and all the things that it takes to be a better person, and along with that, a better player.”
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