I reached out to speak with Iowa State pass-rusher Latrell Bankston after a two-sack performance against the Texas Longhorns, and I was blown away by the Georgia native. I was interested to learn more about the defensive lineman that helped bully Texas on the field. Bankston is shorter in stature at 6’0 but was able to use his height as leverage. Latrell dominates the line of scrimmage and set the tone for one of the most underrated defenses in college football. Before talking to Bankston, I reached out to a scout to ask him about the Cyclone defensive end.
“He is a tough player to project, but I will say the kid has a spark to his play that I enjoy watching. I was not aware of his height because he plays bigger than 6’0. He isn’t hiding in the shadows, and I feel the talk of him not being big enough is out of line to me. He uses his size well, has great get-off, and loves to disrupt plays. He has a violence about him and rips at the man in front of him trying to dominate the line. He does a good job of setting the tone for the team upfront. He has a hell of a motorman. He does, and not just for a big guy, but a defender. He is always coming into the ball and trying to wreck shop. He is good against the run, I think that is what you get him for, to wreak havoc in the middle. But he has a value against the pass. Also, I wanted to say, or touch on his height again. Aaron Donald is the best defensive lineman in all of football. He may be the best I have personally ever put my eyes on in person. He is a 6 footer. Not saying that Bankston, is Donald, but don’t let that be the reason you don’t give him a shot. Meaning his height. That will come back and bite you, man. Look at all the guys that missed on Donald, because of his height.”
Speaking of his height, as well as his playing style. I wanted to know Bankston’s thoughts on it all?
“Man, I have heard it a ton before. I am sure I will keep hearing it, but I am going to keep on doing me. I have all the faith in my coaches to get me better. I know I am going to do whatever it takes to be the best version of me. As far as my height, that is just one knock on me. I know I can play this game and I know I can be a great player. I will keep working towards my goals. That’s on them. As far as your other question, my playing style? I think I kind of covered it. I am a guy that will not let up. I think I am relentless on the field. In practice, or in games. I want to keep putting out the best stuff on tape that I can. I think my motor gets me into good spots. I pride myself on having a good motor. Or is it a guy that will keep coming and coming? I know I need to develop and continue to get better. But I have no problem putting in the work. I like making it easier for my guys behind me to get to the ball. I like taking up space, but not just being a guy sitting around, but by forcing the offense to set its eyes on me. If I do my job well, the guys behind me will get to the spot. The guys behind me and next to me will make a huge impact. I may not get a ton of stats or whatever, but I know I am getting it done as a team. That is my style really.”
I guess in the football world a 6’0 defensive lineman is a bad thing? Maybe, maybe not? But when I put on the film I see a 300-pound man, able to move with great athleticism, has violent hands at the point of contact, and has a non-stop motor. To me, that sounds like a man that is on a mission and can be a constant dominant force. Like I always say, just put on the film and decide for yourself. You will see a selfless player helping the guys around him get better. You will also see a guy that can help in both the run and passing game. While the draft buzz on Latrell Bankston is just being written. I would not be surprised to see his name being called on draft day, sometime soon.