By JOEL COLEMAN
Former Mississippi State cornerback and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Johnthan Banks was back in town on Tuesday helping out with a local fundraiser. I caught up with the ex-MSU star for just a moment to get a few brief thoughts on being back in Starkville and the upcoming 2015 NFL season.
Johnthan Banks returns home to give back
By JOEL COLEMAN
Johnthan Banks has made a living out of taking away. Tuesday night at the Starkville Harvey’s, the former Mississippi State cornerback and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer was giving back.
Banks was one of a dozen local celebrities taking part in Celebrity Wait Night at the restaurant, an event being used as a fundraiser for the Oktibbeha County Humane Society.
“All this is just a part of giving back to the people I love and the people that love me,” Banks said. “People know how much I love animals and all this is just for a great cause. It’s fun to just come out, mingle with people and try and make some money for the humane society.”
Banks, whose football career began at East Webster High School, made his mark in Starkville as a beloved Bulldog defensive back from 2009 through 2012. In that time, he put together one of the most impressive careers of any defensive player in MSU history. Banks is still tied with Walt Harris for the most career interceptions in Mississippi State history (16), tied with Anthony Johnson for the longest interception return at MSU (100 yards) and tied with several former Bulldogs for the career mark in interceptions returned for a touchdown (3).
Banks’ greatest individual accomplishment at State came after his senior season, when he was named the recipient of the 2012 Thorpe Award, an honor given annually to the nation’s best defensive back.
Banks was the first Bulldog to ever win the prize and he had the chance to relive that, and other old times on Wednesday.
“Just a minute ago, I was talking with a guy about the year I won the Thorpe,” Banks said. “This is just bringing back all those old memories. It just feels good, and I’m glad to be back at home.”
Banks won’t be around for too much longer. In just a few days, he’ll be back with the Buccaneers, prepping for the 2015 National Football League season.
Last year, Banks recorded 50 tackles, hauled in four interceptions and scored a touchdown for Tampa Bay. He’s looking forward to getting back to work and putting together an even better 2015 campaign.
“I’m really excited for our team,” Banks said. “We’ve done some things different, and so I think it’s going to be a different and exciting year for us.”