Brian Banks was signed on April 3rd by the Atlanta Falcons which may have seemed just ordinary, but anyone that knows his story can attribute to just how extraordinary it is. Banks, once a standout football player out of Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, California, verbally committed to attend the University of Southern California. However Banks would never set foot on USC’s Campus as he was accused and arrested in the summer of 2002 for raping a classmate in a school staircase. He later took a plea deal after facing 40 plus years in prison, accepting five years in prison, five years probation, and having to register as a sex offender. In March 2011, the alleged victim actually contacted Banks via Facebook and she admitted she made up the story. Banks recorded the confession, gave it to the California Innocence Project, and on May 24, 2012 Los Angeles County Prosecutors overturned his conviction.
Banks did not rest long after obtaining freedom, he went back to the first thing that defined him, FOOTBALL. In the summer of 2012 he received tryouts with the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, and even attended mini-camp with the Seattle Seahawks reuniting him with Coach Pete Carroll, the former coach of USC who offered Banks a scholarship just 10 years earlier. He ended up catching on with the United Football League’s Las Vegas Locomotives in September of 2012 before the league suspended play in October of that same year. He never let his dream of football die and our hometown Atlanta Falcons gave the opportunity for Banks to continue this pursuit of landing with an NFL Franchise. He may be somewhat of a long shot to make the team but just the fact that he has the opportunity when a little more than one year ago he could never have fathom the chance is one amazing story.
To see what Brian Banks said about his one year anniversary of freedom go to http://instagram.com/p/ZsiYzBHEmf/# to see his statement.
Jamie Walker is a Producer and the Atlanta Falcons Blogger for Sports Radio 92.9 The Game and can be followed on Twitter @coachjdub21 or through email at Jamie.Walker@cbsradio.com.