Texas Football: Former Big 12 coach describes Kelvin Banks as a ‘unicorn’

Kelvin Banks Jr., Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Kelvin Banks Jr., Texas football. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

Texas football is nearly two months away from the regular season opener, building excitement for what’s to come in a promising campaign for head coach Steve Sarkisian’s squad. All the returning talent and depth Texas brings back on both sides of the ball is a big reason why this team has so much hype around it heading into the fall.

There might not be a better player on the Longhorns’ roster heading into the 2023 season than the former elite five-star recruit out of Summer Creek High School in Texas, sophomore offensive tackle Kelvin Banks Jr. The reigning Freshman All-American is considered by many to be the best player and top NFL Draft prospect on this Longhorns team in 2023.

Banks was a steadying force along the offensive line last season as a true freshman, especially in pass protection. He and fellow offensive tackle senior Christian Jones formed one of the most consistent and formidable starting duos at the position in the Big 12 in 2022.

Last season, Banks showed maturity well ahead of his years in college. He held up in pass protection against some of the best edge rushers in the country (i.e., Alabama’s Will Anderson and Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson) as a true freshman.

And it sounds like Banks only continues to improve in camp and workouts this offseason.

Texas football OT Kelvin Banks Jr. lauded as a “unicorn” type of talent

A former Big 12 coach reportedly told Horns247 this week (paid content) that Banks is the type of rare talent at offensive tackle that is a “unicorn”.

"“Just turn on the film,” the coach said. “The guy played with the confidence of a junior or senior — as a true freshman. Guys like Banks are unicorns. They really are. With young offensive linemen, especially at left tackle, a lot of times — even with the really good ones — it’s paralysis by analysis that slows them down when they first get on the field. Not Banks.”"

Banks was also lauded by this former Big 12 coach for his ability to make the other offensive linemen around him on the field better. His ability to win matchups and finish blocks multiple levels deep against opposing defenses is special, and the ability to open up those gaps makes winning blocking assignments much more manageable for his teammates.

Moreover, Banks is hands down one of the most important players for the Longhorns on either side of the ball heading into the 2023 season. He is the rock that sets the tone for the offensive line.

If he continues on this upward trajectory, namely improving his ability as a run blocker, he will become one of the best offensive linemen in the country this fall. Making the necessary strides as a run blocker will also help to solidify Banks as a future top-three or five pick in the NFL Draft (likely in 2025).

Predicting Texas' next 2024 commit after 4-Star RB Christian Clark. dark. Next

Banks was named an All-Big 12 Second-Team selection and Honorable Mention Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year last season. And he’s already garnered preseason 2023 Second-Team All-America honors from Athlon Sports.