One of the top players in the state for the 2018 class is Jaren Banks (6-0 200 LB/Strong Safety) of Sheldon High School. Many remember his brother James Banks, who led Oregon in tackles a few years back, helping the Irish to the 2012 state title. He is now starting at Linebacker for the University of Montana.
Jaren had a breakout 2016 campaign, making 133 total tackles and earning 1st team all conference honors. His (12.1) tackles per game average led the state among Juniors.
Moving forward it will be interesting to see what happens at Sheldon with the departure of Head Coach Lane Johnson and a talented Senior class. Banks projects as more of a Strong Safety at the collegiate level, although he is your ideal HS backer. With an accumulative 3.85 GPA, and AP classes being taken at the University of Oregon, expect multiple high end academic universities to be vying for his services.
Middle brother Justin Banks is currently finishing up his 2nd season at Saddleback Junior College (Mission Viejo, California). Jaren has benefited and learned a great deal from his brothers, each setting a precedent on the field and in the classroom.
Speaking on next year Jaren says, “My hope is to take on more of a leadership role and be someone that the team can count on.” Jaren excelled last year on the 7v7 circuit as part of the EForce/Oregon Underclassmen group. He was instrumental helping the all stars finish 4th out of 40 teams at the Passing Down Regional Tournament in Oakland, CA.
Banks, Chris Collins, and top ranked Sophomores Patrick Herbert & Kimani Quade will most likely not come off the field next year. They will be called upon to lead what has been Oregon’s most successful football program covering the last decade, with a record of (113-17) and 3 state titles.
2017 will be different as Sheldon doesn’t return a deep senior class. That said as South Medford will bring back one of their strongest classes in school history, with the SWC title once again being up for grabs
Expect Jaren to continue separating himself with his overall athleticism. He projects as a Defensive Player of the Year favorite within the conference, as you wont find a more well rounded kid. We will keep you updated as the off season gets underway.