Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

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Evanston junior defensive back Travion Banks decided to end his recruitment and announce his verbal commitment to Miami Ohio Monday at a press conference at his school.

“I was just ready to get the process over with. Coach Chuck Martin and everyone at the university really made me feel welcome,” said Banks. “Not just the defensive staff, the offensive staff did too. The commits, former players, players now all talking to me and showing me how it’s a great program.”

Banks had offers from the RedHawks and Bowling Green, but interest from schools from all over.

“I decided about a week ago but I was just trying to decide a time to announce,” Banks said.

Banks is slated to play cornerback for Miami, Ohio and is versatile enough to play anywhere on the field.

“They say they like me at field or boundary corner,” said Banks. “To me it doesn’t really matter, as long as I am on the field it is making me a better player.”

Loyola’s Eric Eshoo has several offers

The first Big Ten offer is in for Loyola tight end Eric Eshoo. Illinois offered after the Maine South satellite camp.

“One on ones I really had fun,” said Eshoo. “Coach Alex Golesh was giving me the routes and just playing. My head coach, John Holecek told me to come out here and just have fun and so that is what I did. I had a great time.”

After a dominating performance during the camp, Eshoo earned an offer from the Illini. He also added an offer on the weekend from Ball State, after already earning nods from Bowling Green, Colgate, Cornell, North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Southern Illinois. The 6-4, 220-pound prospect is excited about his recent surge in recruiting.

“It’s in my home state so staying close to home would be awesome,” said Eshoo. “Coach Holecek went there so that is a big plus. Illinois has always been a dream school of mine so I am pumped right now.”

Brother Rice’s Ricky Smalling picks up second offer

Brother Rice rising junior wide receiver Ricky Smalling picked up his second offer after camping with Illinois at their Gately Stadium satellite camp. Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit was the one that broke the news of the offer to Smalling after camp concluded.

“It was exciting,” Smalling said. “He told me just to keep working and he hopes to see me at Illinois. I liked Coach Bellamy at camp too, he makes you work and gets under your skin. He makes you want it and makes you compete.”

The 6-food, 190-pound prospect learned a valuable lesson from Saturday’s camp, and added Illinois to his offer list with Virginia.

“I learned to keep working and you will get what you want,” said Smalling. “You just have to show them that you want it. I am relieved to have the offer. “

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