Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.
Name: Jaylon Banks
College: Eastern Illinois University
Height, weight, class, position: 5-11, 210-pound, redshirt sophomore, quarterback
High School: Oswego East in Oswego, Ill.
About Jaylon: The redshirt sophomore quarterback helped Eastern Illinois launch an Uplifting Athletes Chapter at rapid-fire pace in 2019. EIU held its inaugural Lift For Life earlier this year, and the value of the signature event and the rare disease cause inspired Jaylon to step forward and assume the role of Chapter President. He knows as the quarterback he is already in a high-profile position, and he wants to use that platform to help inspire the Rare Disease Community off the field. A native of Illinois, Jaylon set record at Oswego East High School his senior season for yards passing and touchdowns passes. And after a redshirt year in 2017, Jaylon appeared in two games as a redshirt freshman in 2018. He made his collegiate debut against Tennessee Tech.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
BANKS: I would say my memorable experience as a college football players would be my freshman year when we played Tennessee State. We played in Nissan Stadium, which is the home for the Tennessee Titans. Being able to play at a venue like that was very surreal. As a kid that is what you dream of, and to actually be playing a college football game was something I will never forget.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes?
BANKS: I was introduced to Uplifting Athletes when we held an event at my school. I saw the great things that we were able to do when we put on the event. That was something I wanted to be involved with after the event.
What have you learned from your experience with Uplifting Athletes?
BANKS: I learned that it just takes a little bit of your time to make a difference. It is not hard to put out a link for an event, get the word out and then participate. The small sacrifice that you make can make a big difference in someone else’s life.
What advice would you share with someone in high school looking to play college football?
BANKS: First thing I would tell them is to believe in themselves. You can do it. Do not listen to the naysayers, listen to yourself. As long you work as hard as you can in every aspect of your life, there is no reason why you can’t play college football.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
BANKS: Russell Wilson is my favorite NFL player. Russell is listed at 5-11 and 215 pounds. I am 5-11 and 210 pounds. For a quarterback whose measurable are almost identical to mine gives me the motivation that I can play the quarterback position at a high level despite my “small” stature.
If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?
BANKS: The person I would choose is Alexander The Great. The reason why is, our food would be endless. He conquered lands from Macdeonia, through the Middle East, and almost all of Asia. From a conservation standpoint, I would be able to speak with one of the greatest leaders to ever live.
JAYLON ON THE HOT SEAT
What is your perfect pizza?
BANKS: Stuffed deep dish from Giordano’s
All time favorite movie?
BANKS: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
What is your go-to fast food restaurant?
Favorite sports team (any sport)?
BANKS: Minnesota Vikings
What is the most used app on your phone?
BANKS: ESPN App