ACC: Charles Bankins

Around the ACC: Terps start practice

August, 11, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Good morning, ACC fans. I'm in Tallahassee, and getting ready to head out to FSU practice, but first I wanted to catch you up on a few Monday practice reports from around the league:


The Terps started practice on Monday, and coach Ralph Friedgen is a shell of his former self after losing more than 100 pounds. Here are a few tidbits from Monday's practice, as reported by the sports information office:

    • Two-year starter Chris Turner and Jamarr Robinson were the lone quarterbacks on the roster in the spring, but they have been joined by a pair of talented true freshmen in C.J. Brown and Danny O'Brien.

      "I looked at the young quarterbacks and they did pretty good for the first day," Friedgen said. "We put a lot of stuff in and they had the extra meeting today. I thought Chris was very sharp. I though Jamarr showed some signs of improving. I was impressed with the quickness of [Caleb] Porzel, He is a quick little kid. We have to get him and D.J. Adams in on Saturday [for the scrimmage]. I want to see what they can do."

      • Practice Tidbits: Junior WR Adrian Cannon made a number of impressive catches during individual drills, including a one-handed grab along the sidelines. ... During one of the 7-on-7 drills, O'Brien went 6-for-6, including a long completion to Quintin McCree. O'Brien and McCree also connected again in 11-on-11s on a long completion. ... Running back Gary Douglas redshirted last season as a true freshman, but was impressive during fall practice. Douglas continued to show impressive athleticism. He had good runs after the catch Monday and showed some elusiveness.
      • Return Game: Torrey Smith, who set an ACC record for kickoff return yards last season, is penciled in as the primary kickoff return man, but the Terps are in search of a new punt returner with the departure of three-year starter Danny Oquendo. Sophomore Tony Logan, who handled the job in the Humanitarian Bowl, is listed No.1 on the depth chart. Anthony Wiseman and Kenny Tate are backups for new special teams coordinator Charles Bankins heading into the preseason, but Porzel and Travis Hawkins also fielded punts during individual drills.
      • Switching Lines: True freshman Cody Blue, who enrolled in January and participated in spring drills, has moved from the defensive line to the offensive line. Blue was a backup at defensive end, but will slide in at tackle. "Cody has the height and I think he's going to get a lot bigger," Friedgen said. "It's going to take him time to learn it, and we'll see how he does. If he doesn't adapt, we can always move him back to defense. I think this gives him the best chance of playing."

      (Read full post)

      Maryland's Bankins looking to build special teams tradition

      June, 3, 2009
      PM ET

      Posted by's Heather Dinich

      Maryland special teams/tight ends coach Charles Bankins has a group of players he has deemed "the silent warriors." They're the players who might not start on offense or defense, but will be his core players on the special teams unit.

      "I get extra meetings with those guys and make sure they know what they're doing," Bankins said. "They'll set the tone for the rest of the guys on special teams."

      Bankins, in his first season with the Terps, has high expectations for his silent warriors -- after all, he just won a national championship at Richmond, so he's grown accustomed to winning.

      Since the days of Nick Novak, the Terps have laid the groundwork for a program with strong special teams units. The unit has gone through some turnover, though, as Bankins is the third assistant there in as many seasons. As a native of Southern Maryland, though, he's aware of the high expectations for the unit set by former assistant Ray Rychleski, who spent seven seasons there before taking a job with South Carolina last year.

      "It's our job to carry the torch and keep those expectations going," Bankins said. "I just want to make sure we have a clear understanding of the scheme I'm bringing to the program. I'm a fundamentalist, so we're going to focus on the fundamentals. My philosophy has always been, if you're good at the fundamentals, you can plug them into any scheme. If you try a scheme without fundamentals, it's not going to work."

      One player expected to help do that is wide receiver Torrey Smith, who could be one of the more exciting players to watch in the ACC this fall if he continues to grow as a receiver. Smith had 210 all-purpose yards in a spring scrimmage, and a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He set an ACC single-season record last year with 1,089 kickoff return yards, including a 99-yard return for a touchdown against Nevada in the Humanitarian Bowl.

      "One thing I told Torrey is I want to make him the all-purpose leader in the country," Bankins said. "He's done a great job of returning the ball, and obviously ended the season on a good note. If he can do his part on the receiving end, I can help him out in the return game."

      The biggest question mark for Bankins is who will replace veteran kicker Obi Egekeze.

      "The job is wide open," Bankins said. "Nobody has run away with anything. The guys are going to be competing all summer for the kicking job."

      And Bankins hopes to have them all competing for a championship this fall.

      ACC's lunchtime links

      April, 7, 2009
      PM ET

      Posted by's Heather Dinich

      Things just aren't looking good for the Florida State receivers. In Monday's scrimmage, though, Bert Reed played like he's going to have to this fall, and Jimbo Fisher was pleased with the offense.

      While FSU is losing receivers, Virginia Tech is getting them back. Here's a video clip of Brandon Dillard, who was sorely missed last year.

      Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson thinks Marcus Wright can help the Jackets at A-back this fall. The AJC gives you the scoop on six redshirt freshmen at Georgia Tech who could also have an impact this fall.

      Clemson first-year defensive coordinator, Kevin Steele, is already thinking outside the box with the Tigers' linebackers.

      Speaking of linebackers, Duke's Vincent Rey wasn't highly recruited, but he's made a name for himself nonetheless.

      Patrick Stevens of the Washington Times did a Q&A with the Terps' new special teams coordinator and tight ends coach, Charles Bankins.

      Maryland hires former Richmond assistant

      February, 18, 2009
      PM ET

      Posted by's Heather Dinich

      Maryland has hired former Richmond assistant Charles Bankins to coach the special teams and tight ends, Maryland announced Wednesday. This will be Bankins' first coaching job at the FBS level, but he has ties to the area (Bankins is from Leonardtown, Md.) and is coming off a championship season at the FCS level. Bankins replaces Danny Pearman, who was hired at Clemson, his alma mater.

      "Charles is very good person with a solid special teams background," coach Ralph Friedgen said in a prepared statement. "He also has local ties which should help us in recruiting. He's got a diverse background, having coached different positions and in both the NFL and college. He should be a good fit and we're glad to be able to add him to the staff."

      You can find the entire press release here.