Trent Banner: Young, tough and ready to start
Despite not being able to do much in the way of workouts due to a broken fibula, Trent Banner of Foothill High (Palo Cedro, California) came into the OpC4 camp in early January determined not to let his lack of activity or the pressure of the camp dissuade him.
“I honestly didn’t let the pressure get to me,” said Banner, who just turned 14-years old and was one of the younger participants at Tampa. “I just did my thing and I thought I did pretty good doing it.”
The fact that Banner was even able to attend the OpC4 camp is a story in itself.
As a freshman and as the starting quarterback for the Foothill freshmen team, Trent was having an exceptional season under a new coaching staff, and the dual-threat signal-caller was even leading the team in rushing.
About halfway through the season he got hit in practice with a helmet to his left leg, and although he felt a sting he hopped off the field.
“The sports trainer said it was just a major contusion and the coach said I was all right,” Banner remarked.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Banner missed the game against arch-rival Enterprise of Redding, but in his first game back he threw for two TDs out of a new shotgun formation and played the last three games of the season.
Eventually, it was determined Banner had completely broken his fibula and the doctor that was very surprised he could play on the leg sidelined him until Christmas, less than two week’s before the OpC4 camp.
How was the young man going to prepare for the camp?
Banner had been going to NFA camps since he began playing quarterback at age 10, and he’d been working with NFA Director of Player Development Will Hewlett for over a year.
He couldn’t do anything on the leg, but that didn’t stop Trent from working hard on everything else.
“My first real workouts on the leg were at the camp, but in late November we went down to Will on four weekends to work on my throwing but no footwork.”
That’s a mere 500-mile round trip.
“I also hit the weight room to work on upper body, and it’s paid off because now I’m able to do things with my upper body and chest I was never able to do.”
The commitment showed in Tampa.
“Trent gave that great effort consistent with what you expect from quarterbacks who aspire to the next level,” said NFA Founder and President Darin Slack. “His commitment to do things the right way at every turn will definitely open the doors at the collegiate level for him.”
Hewlett echoed those sentiments and went even further.
“Tough, no quit attitude. Trent Banner has matured into a rising prospect in Northern California. Quick delivery, accurate and above all makes great plays under pressure.”
Besides Hewlett and Slack, Banner credits other NFA coaches for his progression, including NFA Director of Product Development Dub Maddox, and Kyle Miller.
But will all the hard work and development he’s gotten from four years at NFA camps allow the 3.8 GPA student-athlete to compete for the starting job?
“I believe I can start and I’ll get a chance to compete. We’ll just have to see if the coaches want to risk it with a sophomore.”
If this kid can play on a broken leg, anything is possible.