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Bulldog Banks having fun during football spring drills

April 7, 2012

Johnthan Banks

The anticipation of playing defense one more year at Mississippi State was the reason cornerback and former East Webster player Johnthan Banks said he returned for his senior season.

After Friday morning's scrimmage at the practice field, Banks was reminded of just how much fun it was.

"I just go out fly around and make plays," Banks said. "That's what I'm there to do and help lead this team. (I want) to make myself better as a football player, as a corner and just try to help this defense as much as I can."

The defense was in charge most of the scrimmage and never let the offensive side of the football establish any consistency.

Banks said it was a matter of the defense coming out focused and ready to go.

Even though there's still some work to be done in terms of depth, Banks likes what is developing around him.

"I love it," Banks said. "That way I don't have to press. (Tavaeze) Calhoun can play and (Darius) Slay can get the job done. We're growing up and have a lot of guys coming in to play. I could name them all. They are doing what it takes to be one of the leading defenses in the SEC. They work hard and listen to coaches. They just go hard and make plays."

Banks went as far to say, "this is the best defense I've played on since I've been here."

He understands that the defense must continue to find the chemistry and keep everything moving in the right direction to reach its potential.

MSU football coach Dan Mullen said it appeared the defense fed off the momentum it established during the scrimmage.

He was anxious to watch the film to see exactly how much better the defense performed, but understands the improvement must be great from several players in order to compete in the SEC.

"We've still got a ways developing guys, but we're getting there," Mullen said. "You look at the top teams in the league and they've got two or three deep with guys rolling in on game day so we want to get to that point eventually."

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