Patrick Chambers landed his third recruit of the 2013 class in Payton Banks this week.
Banks’ high school coach Chris Nordstrom confirmed the small forward’s commitment to Penn State on Wednesday afternoon after multiple outlets reported it late Tuesday night.
Rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Banks joins guard Geno Thorpe and forward Julian Moore — who both also possess three-star ratings from the website — in the Nittany Lions’ 2013 class. Nordstrom said the 6-foot-5, 2-00-pound Banks seemed very happy with his recent commitment when the two discussed it.
"He was very excited to talk about going to school [at Penn State]," Nordstrom said. "He spoke about how beautiful the campus was, how great the facilities were, it just felt very comfortable to him."
Banks hails from Orange, Calif. and plays for Nordstrom at Orange Lutheran High School. Banks’ hometown brings up the question: How does a recruit from Southern California land at Penn State?
Nordstrom said Banks has a sister who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and works on the East Coast.
In addition to having family somewhere relatively near State College, one of Payton’s AAU coaches knew a Penn State assistant to help get each side on each other’s radar. Nordstrom said after a Penn State coach saw one of Banks’ AAU practices, they reached out to him.
"[Penn State was] very interested in Payton right away," Nordstrom said. "In fact, I think even after that practice, I think they expressed some pretty serious interest and from that point on made a pretty serious effort to get Payton out there for his visit."
According to Nordstrom, Pepperdine, UTEP and Nevada were other colleges that were high on Banks’ list of schools. But the prospect ended up choosing Penn State shortly after an official visit.
Nordstrom said Banks averaged about 14 points and seven rebounds per contest last season and noted his size makes him very versatile. The coach has Banks play anywhere on the floor other than center depending on his match-up and called Banks "a basketball player, not really a position guy."
"My thought is they’ll probably combo him up [in college]," Nordstrom said. "If he has the right match-up, what I do is if they have a bigger guy guarding him because of his size, I just put the ball in his hands. If he has a little guy on him, I’ll switch and post him up. He’s just a really good weapon to have."