Friday, July 13, 2012
Top football recruit Banner playing basketball
By Pedro Moura
Freshman offensive tackle Zach Banner, one of USC's top recruits in the class of 2012, has been practicing with the Trojans' basketball team over the last few weeks, a program source told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Friday.
Listed at 6 feet 8, 305 pounds, Banner plans to try playing the sport next season once the football season ends in December or January. He played both sports to similar levels of success in high school in Washington but was commonly rated as a better football prospect for the next level as a four-star football prospect and three-star basketball player.
Banner, the biological son of former NFL offensive lineman Lincoln Kennedy, was ranked No. 122 in the ESPN150 for football.
During the recruiting process, he insisted he'd be choosing a college partly based on whether he'd be permitted to play both sports. USC football coach Lane Kiffin said on Signing Day in February that Banner would be free to play basketball in the football offseason if he so chose.
The basketball Trojans have practiced six times already this summer under the NCAA's new provisions that allow coaches to conduct limited guided workouts with their players. They'll scrimmage four more times this summer before conveniently ending right before football's fall camp begins the second week of August.
Banner could presumably play a backup forward/center role on the basketball team for coach Kevin O'Neill.