2022 Mountain West Football Top 50: #23, San Diego State DE Keshawn Banks
The Aztecs’ veteran defensive end is the next Aztec to appear on this year’s countdown of the Mountain West’s top performers.
No Cameron Thomas? No problem.
The San Diego State Aztecs boasted one of the nation’s top defenses in 2021, which wasn’t much different from when they boasted one of the nation’s top defenses in 2019 and 2020, as well, but it’s perhaps not a coincidence that the next player on our list, defensive end Keshawn Banks, has been a big factor throughout and makes his third preseason top 50 appearance.
Last year, playing opposite Cameron Thomas, Banks’s third season as a starter may have been his best one yet. He earned a spot on the second-team all-Mountain West defense for the second time after compiling a career-best 13 quarterback hurries and five sacks, complementing his 35 total tackles and 11 tackles for loss. That went a long way toward helping San Diego State pace the conference, and finish eighth among all FBS teams, in allowing 4.74 yards per play.
In 2022, Thomas is gone but Banks should be as productive as ever up front. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Rio Rancho, New Mexico native has done as much as anyone to help the program ascend to its current status, so count on him making this last ride on the Mesa matter.
What an instinctual play by Keshawn Banks! The center rocks back in his stance & moves the ball with 2 seconds on the play clock. Banks reacts to the flinch. Even if he left early, it was only a fraction of the second too soon. He's made similar plays all year. Clutch play. pic.twitter.com/REbvD4pCRd
— Paul Garrison (@PadreDeCuatro) November 21, 2021
— San Diego State Football (@AztecFB) September 18, 2021