The senior cornerback saw evidence of that Friday, when the Bulldogs held their first full scrimmage of the spring.
The defense easily took the day, limiting the first and second offenses to seven touchdowns in 25 total possessions. Drives were started at various spots on the field, from the offense's own 2-yard line to the defense's 25.
Four of the TDs were scored on possessions started inside midfield. The first unit managed more than one first down on only four of 13 possessions.
"I was telling Fletcher (Cox) today, I think this defense will probably be the best defense I've played on since I've been here, if we just get the chemistry right and get everything going," Banks said.
Cox is the defensive tackle who left a year early to enter the NFL Draft, where he is being projected as a first-round pick. The Bulldogs will certainly miss Cox, but his loss should be eased by the best depth State has had in years.
During Friday's work, first- and second-string defenders were swapped in and out, and a host of different players aided the strong effort. Plenty of starters made big plays, but so did several reserves, including linebacker Benardrick McKinney, cornerback Darius Slay and defensive lineman Curtis Virges.
The defensive line showed the kind of depth that could make it a top-shelf unit in the SEC, and the linebackers were all over the field. The pass was stingy, too, especially downfield. Of 37 completions by MSU quarterbacks, only seven went for 20 or more yards.
It was a 139-play scrimmage, not including the third-team work.
The defense as a whole looked much more tuned it than it had the previous weekend, when the offense had its way during some scrimmage work.
"We kind of had a chip on our shoulder after last week. We didn't want to be doing what they're doing right now," Lawrence said, referring to offensive players having to run after practice. "We came out, we got in the film room, we cleaned some things up, and it showed today. We looked pretty sharp."
Lawrence said it might have been the most dominant scrimmage by the defense during his time here.
But how much of it was the defense, and how much was due to the offense regressing? Depends on who you ask.
"I'll just say it was them getting better, because we can't take steps back," said tailback Nick Griffin, who rushed for 73 yards and a TD. "We can't afford to go backwards, so I'd just say it's them taking a step forward."
Quarterback Tyler Russell, who completed 21 of 43 passes for 217 yards and two scores, saw it another way.
"Overall, it's just the offense, we stopped ourselves," he said. "The defense played real good today, but it's nothing we haven't seen. We have to come out here and be on the same page."