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The Force is With Millbrook's Jermicus Banks

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RALEIGH — Senior Jermicus Banks is a three-year starter at defensive end for Millbrook's always-powerful Wildcats. Millbrook's opponents know why his coach calls Banks "a force."

"He's the kind of guy that makes other teams run away from him. He's that dominant a player," says coach Earl Smith.

But Banks was not always that accomplished in the classroom. When Banks entered Millbrook in the ninth grade, his grades were not what they should have been. After much hard work, he is now a solid B student.

"I learned that nothing comes without hard work," Banks says. "And I realized that I would potentially become a college athlete, so I just took it upon myself to buckle down on the books and get my grades up."

His teachers say the hard work has paid off. "He sets an example by steadily plodding along and doing what he's supposed to do. He has a great reputation here at the school with both his peers and his teachers, and everybody just thinks he's deserving of everything he's got," says teacher Sue Garriss.

"He's the epitome of a perfect player, student, and person, and he's well-respected by the teachers, the faculty, and the community, as far as what he's done and what he continues to do," Smith says.

"Leadership means doing what's right when nobody's looking at you," Banks says. "I just have a good upbringing from my mom, and good morals, and I'll leave it like that."

Jermicus Banks is this week's winner of the Extra Effort Award. Tom Suiter's Extra Effort award airs Wednesdays during WRAL's 6:00 News.

Do you have a nomination for the Extra Effort Award?Mail us your suggestions.