Champion quarterback transfers to division 1

By Robert Clinton, Sports Editor

Community college athletics is well known as the fastest moving revolving door in all of sports due to the limited time student-athletes spend at any given campus.

As it stands, the Contra Costa College football team initially lost three of its seven All-Pacific 7 players because they were sophomores, but none was more integral to last season’s championship run than freshman quarterback Jonathan Banks.

Prior to returning home after the end of the spring semester, Banks accepted a full ride athletic scholarship to Kansas State University.

After the exit of KSU quarterback Jake Waters last year, a furious three-man quarterback competition was underway to secure the vacancy. None of the three prospective quarterbacks Alex Delton, Jesse Ertz or Joe Hubener appeared have an advantage in securing the job. 

Banks’ first hurdle was arriving late to the summer program in Manhattan, Kansas. The team already had a scrimmage in the books and three quarterbacks who were fully immersed in the voluminous playbook.

Unlike showing up late in San Pablo and improvising his way through the early games of the season en route to a 1,992 yard 17 touchdown season, the sophomore will have his hands full playing catch up to the three other guys at Kansas State.

Banks said his best has yet to be seen because he has never had a complete year to fully grasp an offensive system.

Replacing the Pac 7 Offensive Player of the Year is no easy task and CCC football coach has a three-man battle of his own going on at quarterback.

Comet tight end Jaelen Collins remembers the transition made by the freshman quarterback last season.

“He was always a run-first kind of quarterback but later in the season when he had a full understanding of the playbook he was like a conductor — he knew where everyone needed to be,” Collins said.

With added running power and a longer, leaner receiving core the team seems built to protect whoever shows enough of a spark to get the job in practice. But no Comet coach is ready to predict the offensive wave the team rode last year.

“There is a little bit of a spark in all three of them,” CCC quarterback coach Jeff Anderson said.

As for Banks and his quarterback competition, Ertz is nudging ahead of the pack. College football insiders expect Banks to take some snaps out of the wildcat formation when the Wildcats take the field Saturday against the University of South Dakota.

The Houston native traveled to Kansas with the same expectations he brought to San Pablo.

“All I was looking for was an opportunity,” the quarterback said.

Banks’ skill set fits perfectly with the type of offense K State coach Bill Snyder likes his quarterback to run. If Banks can ramp up his digestion of the playbook then the opportunities are limitless.

The Comets will host Cabrillo College Saturday at 3 p.m. in Comet Stadium.