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Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The Cutting Room Floor: Zach Banner

By David Auguste

Wash OL Duo
Zach Banner (left) and Joshua Garnett have close to 100 combined BCS offers.


We can't always fit everything we want in the pages of ESPNHS, so we bring you the Cutting Room Floor. Think of it as the deleted scenes portion of your favorite Blu-ray. In September we tracked down Lakes senior OL Zach Banner to share our cover with his close friend Joshua Garnnett, another elite lineman from Washington. If you haven't had a chance to check out the story, visit here. In addition to their close friendship, they also bond over hoops and dancing (still waiting to see the videos, guys). Here are some of the excerpts from our interview with Zach. Stick with us for Joshua's outakes later.

On his love of HS football It’s the moment. It’ something that not everybody gets to go through. Not only do I play high school football, I play on one of the top teams in the country. I live for the moment and opportunity to play. It’s a gift. I’m straight pumped when I get on the field. I’m going to put whoever tries to rush me on their back.

On his inspirationAll you have to do is type my name into Google and that’s my inspiration. I have a lot of eyes on me. I have to deal with the haters and all the people that disrespect me online.

On his teammates' support — These guys have pushed me and keep me grounded. We don’t talk about recruiting or anything when we’re hanging out. We just want to be regular high school kids.

On people mistaking him for Joshua Garnett— Because of our size and personality, we’re like a mirror image. It makes us mad but it’s OK. A lot of people look at us as role models or someone to be like. I think it’s an honor.

On Garnett doing the Bernie dance — That’s some Puyallup swag. At Lakes, we do the Dougie. My Dougie isn’t online but we have a Lakes’ Dougie squad. I find myself to be a way better dancer than he is. Ask him about it.

On Garnett off the field — He’s a good guy. He’s more of a quiet guy than me. I walk into a room and within the first minute I try to talk to someone. He’s a little more shy.

On Garnett on the field — I’ve seen his tapes. Whoever he gets on, he likes to stay with him until the whistle blows. He puts someone on the ground then puts then back on the ground (if they try to get up). He’s like (Minnesota Vikings OL) Steve Hutchinson with that mean mentality. His mentality on the field is, I’m going to mess this guy up.

On hoops — It’s a love for the sport, not just a skill. I’m not just a football player who plays basketball.

On advice from former teammate and current UW OL Sione Potoa’e — He’s someone who was working with me my freshman year. We talked a lot about recruiting. He talked to me about college coaches and he helped me in the weight room and on the field.

On his nicknames — My nickname is “Big Daddy”. That’s just how it is on the court because I dominate. They also call me “The Diesel” after Shaq.

On Superstitions — I wear my lucky Dallas Cowboys hat, which was given to me by Mr. Cavanaugh. He runs our stadium. It’s my lucky hat; I wear it before every game.

Final thoughts — I’m honestly pumped to be on this cover.

David Auguste is an associate editor for ESPNHS and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @ESPNHSAuguste or email him at David.Auguste@espn.com.