Banks Leads Wildcat Wide Receivers

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Brandon Banks has heard those two words his entire life: too small. The senior wide receiver may be the lightest starting wide receiver among all FBS schools, but he certainly plays big.

The 2007 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year at 5-7 and 150 pounds, Banks leads a Wildcat receiving corps in 2009 that is becoming one of improving depth and full of playmakers entering the season opener on September 5. A player that head coach Bill Snyder calls "one of the fastest young men I have seen in my life," Banks was electrifying in 2008 with 67 catches for 1,049 yards and nine touchdowns.

Now, the Wildcats will look further into the rotation at wide receiver for more production. Lamark Brown has moved back to wide receiver after leading the team in rushing last season at running back, and Snyder believes Brown has made a seamless transition back to his original position.

"It's been a very easy transition for him," Snyder said. "I haven't regretted him making the move at all, and he hasn't either. He really works awfully hard at it and is a very, very physical wide receiver. You don't find a whole bunch of guys like that. He runs well, has good hands, and what I really like is that he's very conscientious and works extremely hard at it."

Behind Banks and Brown are still plenty of options for Snyder and wide receivers coach Mike Smith heading into the season.

"Well, I think (Attrail) Snipes, (Aubrey) Quarles, (Adrian) Hilburn, Sheldon Smith and Tramaine Thompson are all in that category," Snyder added. "It may not be as deep of a position as we may have hoped, because you know sometimes you've got as many as four of those guys on the field at the same time. You have to have pretty good depth, but we're a little deeper now than we were in the spring."

Snipes appeared in seven games last season, while Quarles played in all 12, earning four starts. Hilburn missed a majority of 2008 with an injury, while Smith and Thompson are both newcomers to the program that have had productive camps so far. Smith is a junior college transfer from Cerritos College, while Thompson is a true freshman from Jenks, Okla.

K-State will host Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday. Gates on the west side of the stadium will open at 5 p.m., and fans may come in at that time to watch practice. The public is asked to park in the west lot and can access the stadium through Gates C, D or H.

Following the workout, Coach Snyder and the team captains will address the crowd, and fans will then be able to participate in an autograph session on the field with all players and coaches. Those participating in the autograph session are asked to limit the number of autograph items they bring to two per person.

Kickoff for the K-State Family Reunion on September 5 is set for 6:10 p.m., at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Both season and single-game tickets for the 2009 football season remain available to the general public, including individual tickets for as low as $20 for the UMass game.

The most convenient way to order tickets is online at Tickets may also be purchased Saturday at the west stadium ticket booth during Fan Appreciation Day or at the K-State Athletic Ticket Office in Bramlage Coliseum during the week.

Fans wishing to personally discuss season ticket options can also call the ticket office at (785) 532-7606 or Andrew Hamor in the Ahearn Fund office at (785) 532-7984.