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Marcus ‘Speedy’ Banks commits to LSU months after family tragedy

Marcus "Speedy" Banks

By her own admission, Leah Banks-Meeks was surprised when her son, three-star cornerback Marcus “Speedy” Banks, verbally committed to LSU over the weekend.

“I thought maybe we were going to wait until the end of this month when he went to the Nike Opening,” she said on my radio show. “But things happen.”

Whatever you do, don’t mistake her surprise with disappointment or confusion. The Banks family is one of strong conviction and deeply-rooted faith. How else could a wife bury her husband in March and less than three months later be strong enough to support her youngest son’s decision to leave home for college?

“He came to my room Sunday morning,” she said of the weekend official visit to LSU. “And said, ‘I want to commit.’ He wanted to commit back in February and I said hold off, let’s do some official visits. Let’s go around. Let’s see some things. Then, unfortunately, we lost my husband in March, so that kind of put everything on hold for us.

“When he came and spoke to me and said, ‘Mom, this is where I need to be. I feel that God has been telling me I need to be at LSU.’ When he said that, I couldn’t say anything. I had no problem. I had no argument. It just felt right not only for him, but for us as a family.”

This wasn’t new for Leah Banks-Meeks either. When her oldest son was in 3rd grade, he told his mother he was going to be a Marine. He turned 18 on a Saturday. The following Monday, he enlisted to serve our country, which he did for four years. Three weeks after returning home from his deployment, his father, Bobby Meeks died unexpectedly.

Bobby Meeks was a 37-year-old former Florida State offensive lineman. He was part of three ACC championship teams and made 20 career starts from 2000-2004 under legendary coach Bobby Bowden. He died unexpectedly in March due to complications from surgery.

“We’re still waiting on clarification and results of different things at this point,” Banks-Meeks said of her husband’s death.

One thing of which she is certain in that Bobby Meeks would have been ecstatic at their son’s decision to pick LSU.

“He was Nole-blooded,” she said of Bobby Meeks. “He had tattoos all on him about Florida State. He was just simply Nole-blooded.

“When my husband went out and bought gear for LSU and said, ‘If y’all go to LSU, I’m going on the visit and I’m gonna be there on game day if he chooses to go, and I’m gonna wear that purple and gold.’

“For us. The last few weeks, it’s been one thing after another that’s given us signs.”

RELATED: Former LSU defensive line coach Pete Jenkins expects big things from 2018 unit.

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