"I don't think I'm a safety,'' Banks said.
As the season wore on and things got progressively worse in the secondary, Banks was moved back to cornerback and started four straight games there in the second half of the season. He might have finished the season as a starter, but he hurt his leg early in the game at Iowa State and didn't play again, missing both the regular-season finale against Kansas and the Pinstripe Bowl.
Now he's basically starting over, as are all of West Virginia's defensive backs. As Mitchell attempts to find out whom his best players are, he has a fairly large group from which to choose. Banks, Brodrick Jenkins, Nana Kyeremeh and Terrell Chestnut all started games last season. Ricky Rumph played more as the season went along, Avery Williams is rounding into shape after missing last season injured, and younger players like Brandon Napoleon and Vernon Davis are coming off redshirt years.
Mitchell calls the collection a blank canvas as far as he's concerned. He's coaching them for the first time with no preconceived notions of what they can and cannot do. Last year doesn't matter.
For guys like Banks, though, they can't erase last year, and at least for now they don't want to. It's still a great teaching lesson.
"All of those things contribute,'' Banks said, ticking off some of the low points of the season. "Every mistake you make, you learn from it.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.