Former Augusta Christian Star William Banks has had a solid college football career. After walking on at Georgia Southern, he worked his way into a key role as a running back for the Eagles. Last season, he rushed for 442 yards and 4 TDs on a GSU team that finished 10-4 and one win out of the National Title Game. This season however, Banks and his fellow seniors had no chance at postseason glory. They were ineligible for even a conference title because of the school’s move up to FBS next season. That meant Saturday’s Game in “the Swamp” versus the Florida Gators would be Banks’ last in an Eagle uniform. Well, he and his GSU Seniors made their final game a memorable one by pulling off arguably the biggest upset in school history.
The Eagles manhandled the Gators at times, piling up 429 yards on the ground (They did not complete a pass in the game). The defense did its part, holding Florida to 279 total yards, the Gators lowest output in 11 years. Banks was coming off an injury which caused him to miss the previous week’s game versus Elon, and he did not see action in the first half. The second half was a different story all together. Banks rambled in for a touchdown late in the third quarter that gave the Eagles a 20-10 lead. The Gators battled back to tie the game at 20-20 and it appeared the stunning win might not happen. That is when Banks stepped up for another big play. This time the 5-9, 201 lb. senior scampered 53 yards with a little over 3 minutes left to play to set up Georgia Southern’s game winning touchdown. For the game Banks finished with 11 carries for 94 yards and a TD.
Yes, I would say Banks picked a fantastic way to close out his college career. And, GSU will always be grateful for the 2013 seniors that put the program first and chose to stick with the Eagles even though they had no chance at a post season in their final year. For the season, Banks finished with 482 yards and 10 touchdowns on just 77 carries (6.3 yards per carry) despite playing in only 8 games because of injury.
Banks had 924 yards rushing and 10 rushing touchdowns in his final two seasons. Not bad for a young man who walked-on and had to put in two years of hard work just to get on the field.