UPDATE (8:26 p.m.)
I just spoke with Lakes High football coach Dave Miller, who’s in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Miller confirmed that Banner has not eliminated Washington.
“I asked Zach if the story that broke was true and he said ‘No, nothing has changed,'” Miller said. “It’s the same as it’s been for the last month — those three schools.”
Miller told Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian, who contacted Miller Friday night, that Banner’s final three is Washington, Oklahoma and USC.
Miller also wanted to squash a rumor that Banner was going to commit to a school during the game on Saturday — usually a few players declare during the nationally-televised game.
He also said Banner was selected to be one of the West Team’s captains.
“Everybody I’ve talked to down here has said he’s been phenomenal,” Miller said of Banner.
Shortly after 6 p.m. on Friday, King-5 posted this video of Lakes High offensive tackle Zach Banner from the Alamodome, claiming that Banner is no longer considering Washington.
In the video, Banner, who is in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, says “I haven’t declared yet but it’s between the University of Southern California and Oklahoma.”
You can watch the video here and judge for yourself, the comment comes at 1:05.
I exchanged texts with Banner on Friday evening, telling him King-5 said he was considering USC and Oklahoma, that Washington was out of the running and asked if it was true.
Banner’s response: “No…Those 3.”
So, there you go. Is it really down to the Trojans and Sooners? Maybe. Did he just forget to mention Washington? Could be.
I feel like I know Banner as well as any media member can. I’ve covered him since he was a freshman at Lakes and have a good rapport. I know he’s a big family guy — he started the Family Over Everything mantra at Lakes — and that would be a pull to attend Washington because of its proximity to his home. But he’s also a fierce competitor and has a drive to win. The opportunity to compete for a national championship is high on his list and, no matter your school allegiance, that makes Oklahoma and USC attractive destinations right now.
For Washington fans, know that Steve Sarkisian recently took over Banner’s recruitment. Banner had scheduled an official visit to USC the weekend of Jan. 13, but that might get pushed back because of Lakes’ basketball schedule. He’s already taken official visits to Oklahoma and Washington.
Where will he end up?
Different sources have told me they think he will commit to USC, Washington and Oklahoma. That tells me Banner isn’t completely sold on one school, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a favorite. We’ll have to wait and see.