Last year, he figured his role would evolve into a more specialized role as a cornerback.
He was seeing playing time early before an injury to safety Travis Bell reconfigured the defensive backfield. Bell was a specialist who played on third downs and in pass packages and WVU didn't have enough safeties to allow one to replace Bell.
So the coaches decided to move Banks.
"It caught me off guard," he said. "That's what I'm there for. I'm supposed to be ready at all times for any problems. But I didn't prepare like I should have in the offseason."
Banks didn't like the way he played, not as it was happening and not now as he looks back at the few games he played safety. There's a level of pride that compels him to advertise, "That was not me."
"I was playing corner and getting in the rotation a lot and then it was, 'We're going to move you to safety,' " Banks said. "That was like, 'Oh, man, that's not me. I don't play safety. I want to play corner.'
"I don't feel like I accepted my role - I know I didn't accept the role. I didn't. I didn't pursue it like it was my job. I feel like if it was corner they were asking me to play, I would have taken that on."
Banks was moved back to cornerback when things became really messy in WVU's secondary. He started against TCU, the same game the Mountaineers benched safety Darwin Cook. Banks started the next three games - and may have started the final two of the season after those four - but he missed both after a low block sidelined him early in the win at Iowa State.
He wound up making 20 tackles as one of the five players to start at cornerback last season, but he was far from perfect.
"A lot of messed-up calls and giving up big plays when we needed stops," he said.
Banks has worried enough about wasted time, though, after the trip he's made to this spring at WVU. Banks "didn't have great grades, didn't take my classes serious enough" when he was playing at Varina High and he met reality in the form of uniforms and early morning marching in military school.
After four interceptions and a major realization, Banks was ranked the No. 3 prep school cornerback by Rivals.com and picked WVU over interest from Western Kentucky, Penn State and Michigan State.
"It played a big role in coming in and being ready and knowing what to do," he said. "Sometimes you get distracted at times, but if you learn to do things right it'll help you as a person. It's kind of a relief knowing you did all that and knowing all the hard work pays off."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.