ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – San Diego State running back Jordan Byrd and defensive lineman Keshawn Banks know their way around the destination for the New Mexico Bowl. Byrd and Banks starred in high school football in the state and return as college sophomores.
Banks had 41 tackles and four and a half sacks for the Aztecs during the regular season. The production on the field helped to earn him All-Mountain West Conference first-team honors. “I did some good for the team,” said Banks. “I’m not content where I’m at as a player, but I feel like I contributed to this team success that we had this year and that’s the most important part, the team and it’s about the team and it always will be about the team.”
Banks was a menace on the defensive line coming out of Rio Rancho High School. Some of his Friday nights in high school included chasing Byrd who, as a high school senior quarterback, led the Manzano Monarchs to a perfect season and Class 6A state championship. It was the first ever for the school.
The two decided to go to San Diego State together. It wasn’t like they went as two strangers from the same state. They have been friends since the age of seven and have grown on and off the field together. “I feel like I have grown tremendously not only from high school to my first year but my first year to my second year. It’s great coaching,” said Banks. “I feel like I’ve grown so much as a player, physically, mentally, studying, just being a student of the game.” Byrd echos the same sentiments on the academic side. “I became more mature as a player and as a student and in school too,” said Byrd. “College has really helped me, football too, become a man.”
San Diego State and Central Michigan will play in the New Mexico Bowl Saturday at noon at Dreamstyle Stadium.