Scott Porter: What do you feel are your greatest accomplishments as a player?
Chris Banjo: I think being part of a team that turned around the program is a huge accomplishment and it really meant a lot to me to be a part of that. I was going to go play for Hawaii but instead I came here and SMU was 1-11 the year before I came here and then we turned this program around and turned into a bowl team. I really took pride and valued turning the SMU program around into a winning program.
Scott Porter: What are your greatest strengths?
Chris Banjo: I think one of my greatest strengths is my ability to understand the game and be a leader out there for my teammates to depend upon and trust. I help get players lined up on the field. I have a great understanding of the game and where my teammates should be as well as myself. I have been playing since my true Freshmen year and feel that I am very well prepared week in and week out and understand my opponents very well. I was the leader of our defense and a guy that the team really depended on.
Scott Porter: What goals do you have for the NFL?
Chris Banjo: My first goal is to make a team. I know how many players are out there working for the same dream that I have and I understand how difficult it is to make an NFL roster. From there I want to become a starter and I look forward to proving myself. I want to have an active role and work my way to the top. I just want to focus on taking it one step at a time to be the best I can be to help my team.
Scott Porter: What player in the NFL do you model your game after?
Chris Banjo: There are a few. Brian Dawkins of the Denver Broncos is one. Very few DB’s played as long as Brian Dawkins has lasted in the NFL. He has a tremendous passion for the game. He reminds me of a rookie out there because he loves each and every moment of being on the field. He is a great leader and I really think his passion and his leadership and work ethic is similar to mine. The other player is Ryan Clark of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ryan was an underrated safety coming out of college. He was undersized and a lot of people overlooked him because of that. He battled the same sickness that I battled through and he is a hard hitter who works hard and comes to play every game.
Scott Porter: What will you miss most about college football?
Chris Banjo: Being part of what we built at SMU. The passion that college football has and the experiences I went through here. Every school in college football plays with so much passion because you are representing the entire University. The game and experience is so genuine. You go to class with your fans who root and support you, so you have that direct connection to everyone. I will miss the family atmosphere.
Scott Porter: What type of player and person is an NFL team getting in Chris Banjo?
Chris Banjo: They are getting a capable leader who works hard every day and will be one of the biggest competitors they will have ever coached. A lot of people tell me I am over competitive. I come to work, put in the time and go strong at everything I do. I love being a leader of the defense and being that guy that my teammates can depend on. I energize the team and feel I help make others around me better. I love the game of football. I can’t imagine life without it.
Scott Porter: What hobbies do you have off the field?
Chris Banjo: I am pretty low key. I like to hang out with friend and family. I like to play video games. I basically like doing anything competitive. I am active with basketball when I get a chance.
Scott Porter: What is your favorite memory while playing football at SMU?
Chris Banjo: My favorite memory was winning the Hawaii bowl. It was so much fun because it SMU went from the bottom of the conference when I came to winning a bowl game. It was a huge moment for SMU football. The program went from 1-11 to a bowl game in one year. Being part of that I will never forget.
Scott Porter: How would you describe your style of play?
Chris Banjo: I am a physical safety who loves contact and taking on blocks. I have a very high football IQ. I prepared myself very well. I go get the ball when I get the chance and I am good at reading and reacting to plays. I get others lined up. I feel I have a good advantage over a lot of others being so well prepared because I can anticipate and react a lot faster because I recognize things before they happen.