Noah Banks’ comeback attempt is over. Due to a medical condition the redshirt senior from Pensacola will not be able to suit up for the Florida Gators this year.
Banks posted this message to his Instagram on Sunday.
“As most of you already know I have been living with epilepsy for about six or seven years now. For several years after my first two episodes I didn’t experience anything else. Unfortunately within the past year and a half or so it’s seemed to come back around. I sat out this past spring and got cleared in the summer to come back. Unfortunately earlier this week, after a normal practice I’ve had another minor episode.”
“I have loved everything about this sport and the Unievrsity of Florida because it introduced me to so many new people and life experiences that I never would have gotten otherwise. Earlier this week I made the decision to medically retire and hang it up. Thank you to everyone I’ve met through this sport and continue to meet because I wouldn’t have changed it for the world!!”
Banks suffered an epileptic episode during Peach Bowl practices in 2018. He was not cleared to practice when the Gators took the field for spring camp but he was at every session standing near the offensive line, watching as they went through camp. Banks continued working out with the team after the spring and was on track to get back into the swing of things for fall camp.
“He came back a hundred percent all in. It was him saying, I want to come back and play. Which was the mindset we needed to have,” Dan Mullen said of Banks. “And I think it got down to, coach, okay, I missed a bunch of time, I got to get my body back right ready to go play. And I said, well, one of the things that we did great job within the transition and making sure he was comfortable and say, hey, I’m back with the team, is he did individual workouts with Coach Savage, to get himself back in shape before he went back with the team. And to make sure as he was working out he was comfortable ready to go back.”
Banks wasn’t projected to be a starting offensive linemen but he was a veteran with versatility to play either guard or tackle on both sides of the line. With Florida still searching for depth on the offensive line Banks’ return was welcomed.
The Gators’ starting five on the offensive line has been pretty solidified since the start of fall camp but John Hevesy continues to look to build the kind of depth you need at that position.
“I think the first five is good and you see the second group coming along and making great progress which, they’ve got to be ready to go. Who are those next five and the first one in, that’s still yet to be determined? That’s what I’m looking for really is 6-7-8 after that, 6-7-8-9-10, more than the next five,” Hevesy said. “It’s who’s the third tackle, who’s the third guard, who’s the second tackle? We go to center and to me Brett Heggie can do it, Chris (Bleich) can do it, so there are a lot of guys that can set at center and snap the ball. You know who is number six, it’s not just ’hey, I’m the backup left tackle’, who’s the next best one.”