As a 5-year-old, Brant Banks already had a black belt in tae kwon do.

Up until two years ago, his sport of choice in college was going to be basketball.

But when the 6-foot-8, 275-pound lineman signed on the dotted line Wednesday, it was to play football at Nebraska.

"My body just developed into a football player's body, and I started getting recognized by coaches all over the country for football," Banks told ABC 13 TV in Houston after signing. "So it kind of chose me, but I'm happy. I love football, everybody in my family plays football, and I think it's the right move."

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A longtime target for the Huskers, Banks chose NU over Baylor. He made his official visit Sept. 1 for the Akron game and returned later in the year for an unofficial visit.

While most schools recruited Banks as an offensive lineman, NU coaches like his length as a defensive end in their defensive scheme.

"But however my body develops is what I'll be playing," Banks said. "I'm happy playing either, but I'll start out playing defensive line."

NU defensive line coach Mike Dawson and offensive line coach Greg Austin made the trip to Houston to visit Banks in late November, as did head coach Scott Frost.

The relationship Banks developed with those three and the people he met in Lincoln made the difference, he said.

"It wasn't really the flashy weight rooms or the cool locker rooms, it was more the people there," Banks said. "Every school has nice facilities and everything, but I just really felt that I fit in with the people there. They were honest and kind, and it was a great feeling when I was up there."

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Banks will enroll early, coming to Lincoln in January for the start of the spring semester.

Banks joins Norfolk Catholic verbal pledge Ethan Piper as prospects who could play either side of the ball, but assuming both start on defense, the Huskers now have four verbally committed to join Dawson’s room, joining three-star defensive end Mosai Newsom (Waverly, Iowa) and four-star Ty Robinson (Gilbert, Arizona), who announced he'd picked the Huskers on Wednesday afternoon. 

Banks and Piper give the Huskers a degree of flexibility if nothing else. NU has four offensive linemen verbally committed and is looking for more. Should NU end up light on the offensive line, perhaps the plan changes for either Banks or Piper.

[ Meet the players already committed to the Huskers for 2019 ]

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.