The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced today that they have signed 2013 NFL Draft pick CB Johnthan Banks to a four-year contract.
Banks (6-2, 185) was selected in the second round (43rd overall) out of Mississippi State University, where he started 45-of-51 games for the Bulldogs, recording 221 tackles, 26 passes defensed, five forced fumbles, 4.0 sacks, one forced fumble and 16 interceptions, including three returned for a touchdown. His 320 interception return yards set a school record and rank fifth on the SEC all-time list, while his three interceptions returned for touchdowns are tied for the second-most ever in SEC history and tied for the most in school history. Banks also returned 30 punts for 289 yards (9.63 avg) and one touchdown.
As a senior, Banks was named the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the best defensive back in college football. He was also named first-team All-America by Walter Camp, was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and Conerly Trophy (Best College Football Player in the state of Mississippi), and a semi-finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award (Best Defensive Player) and the Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy.
During his junior season, Banks earned second-team All-SEC honors from the Associated press and The NFL Draft Report, while also being named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. During his first season at Mississippi State, Banks was named Freshman All-SEC and earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors following the game against Florida, where he had interception returns of 100 and 20 yards for touchdowns.
A native of Maben, Miss., Banks attended East Webster (Maben, Miss.) High School, where he was a three-sport star, helping lead the baseball team to two Class 1-A state championships, while also playing on the basketball team.