Oct. 30, 2003
Athlete of the Month
Scholar-Athlete of the Month
The University of Tennessee and Edamerica announced today the recipients for Athlete of the Month and Scholar-Athlete of the Month for October. James Banks and James Wilhoit are this month's recipients, respectively, for their efforts on the gridiron and in the classroom.
Banks was named Edamerica Athlete of the Month for October, finishing the month with 14 catches for 189 yards. He caught six passes for 76 yards at Auburn and one pass for 10 yards against Georgia.
But Banks was playing like a man possessed against Tennessee rival Alabama. The sophomore from Indianapolis had seven catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns. But he was worth more than his stats showed. He had a 47-yard catch in the second quarter to take the Vols to the 14-yard line, setting up a Wilhoit field goal to tie the game, 3-3. That was just a warm-up.
He gave the Vols a 10-6 lead to open the second half when he took his first snap at quarterback of the season and sprinted 25 yards to the end zone. Banks then caught a 5-yard touchdown in the second overtime and a 25-yard touchdown on Tennessee first play of the third overtime. His two-point conversion catch in the fifth extra period after Casey Clausen's 1-yard touchdown helped seal Tennessee's 51-43 five-overtime thriller in Tuscaloosa.
The quarterback-turned-wide receiver leads the Vols with 30 catches for 412 yards and six touchdown receptions entering the Duke game. He also leads the squad in average receiving yards per game with 58.9. He ranks second on the team in points scored with 44, one point behind team-leader Wilhoit.
Wilhoit was named Edamerica Scholar-Athlete of the Month for October. The sophomore kicker from Hendersonville is a speech communications major and already boasts an impressive academic resume. He was a member of the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center Honor Roll both semesters last year.
On the playing field, Wilhoit was 3-of-4 kicking field goals for the month and converted nine extra points. He nailed all three of his field-goal attempts against Alabama and converted four extra points. Wilhoit is 8-of-13 on the season in field-goal attempts and is a perfect 21-of-21 in extra-point attempts.