STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State All-American defensive back Johnthan Banks was named one of 20 national quarterfinalists for the 2012 Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation announced Tuesday. Banks is the first MSU player to be named a quarterfinalist in the nine-year history of the award, which is named after NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and honors the student-athlete who has the biggest IMPACT on his team on and off the field.
A midseason All-American by six different media outlets, Banks is tied for fourth in the country with four interceptions, while leading his team to a perfect 7-0 record and a No. 11 ranking in the latest BCS standings. For the season, the Senior CLASS Award finalist has been thrown at 37 times in man coverage, allowing 22 catches for 194 yards (5.2 YPA) and zero touchdowns. Banks has broken up five passes, forced one fumble and recovered one fumble.
Among active players in the FBS, the three-time Hornung Award Honor Roll member ranks first in career interception yards (320), second with 16 career interceptions, ranks fourth in career interceptions per game (0.36) and is tied for fifth with three interceptions returned for touchdowns. As a result of offenses avoiding him, Mississippi State is first in the country in turnover margin, while Banks and teammate Darius Slay have more combined interceptions (eight) than 77 FBS teams.
This past Saturday night on national television, the Maben, Miss., native tied Walt Harris' 17-year-old school record with his 16th-career interception. Additionally, the last three starting quarterbacks that have gone up against the team captain and his secondary have recorded season lows in passing yards.
IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. The award is unique because it represents the first trophy to give equal weight to personal character as well as athletic performance from a defensive college player and is the first national college football award based on the West Coast. Semifinalists for the award will be announced Nov. 13 and will be narrowed down to four finalists on Nov. 28. The four finalists will be invited to the Ninth Annual Lott IMPACT Trophy Awards Ceremony in Newport Beach Dec. 9. This year's keynote speaker will be Dr. Condoleezza Rice.
For more information on Banks and the MSU football program, follow the team on Twitter at @MStateFB and like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateFB.