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The Mouse That Roared

If diminutive Pat Fischer, legendary Redskins defensive back of small stature, big heart, and vicious hits was known as 'Mouse’, there can be only one appropriate moniker for lightning in an even smaller bottle, Washington’s return specialist Brandon Banks.

Mighty Mouse.

The electrifying Banks has generated more excitement and thrills in his five games in burgundy and gold than some NFL players do in a career. A blip on the NFL radar as an undrafted rookie at season’s start, Banks now strikes fear into the hearts of defensive coordinators everywhere. That he is doing so wrapped in a 5’7”, 149 lb package is downright impressive.

Who is this guy and what planet does he hail from?

Brandon Banks grew up and went to high school in Garner, a North Carolina suburb just south of Raleigh. He was a speedster from the start, and his fast wheels and elusiveness made him an instant starter at wide receiver for Garner Magnet High School. Banks contributed to a team that lost just five times in 3 years and racked up 3 conference championships. When he wasn’t tearing down the sidelines, Banks also impressed on the track, where he ran a 10.42 100m dash. Folks worried about Banks ability to take a hit then too. Trouble was, you had to catch him before you could hit him, and not many could.

After high school, Banks eventually ended up at Bakersfield College, a community college in California. Success again followed Banks, as his top-ranked junior college Renegades went 12-1 and he lead them to the Southern California championship game. Banks reputation grew and he played his final 2 years of college ball at Kansas State, a school that produced another overachiever, Rock Cartwright, and a surprising number of NFL standouts. As a Wildcat, Banks broke a number of receiving and return records, and in 2008 was named Big 12 Conference Special Teams Player of the Year after racking up 1731 all purpose yards. Although it was as a return threat that he was most known, Banks was no slouch catching the football, with 123 receptions for more than 1,754 yards and 10 touchdowns over his two years at Kansas State.

But when you’re barely bigger than the Sunday paper boy, it’s hard to get NFL scouts to read your headlines...

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