Brian Banks, the former Long Beach high school football prodigy falsely accused of raping a classmate, today got a second chance at his NFL dreams.
After spending nearly a decade fighting the charge unsuccessfully, the 26-year-old was released from jail and hit the field last year in an attempt to get back into pro shape. But the Chargers wouldn't barely give him the time of day and Pete Carroll, who tried to woo the high schooler to USC, said he wasn't ready for his Seattle Seahawks:
Alas, today the athlete said his dream has come true. The Atlanta Falcons have signed him as a linebacker.
— Brian Banks(@BrianBanksFREE) April 3, 2013
The move came after a re-airing of a 60 Minutes segment on Banks' saga, which replayed what happened to his life: A Long Beach Polytechnic classmate falsely accused him of rape, and he was sentenced to 6 years behind bars based mostly on her testimony.
Later, after she tried to friend him on Facebook, she recanted, and it was caught on tape.
The Falcons today noted that Banks, 6-2, 250, did his homework. He spent the 2012 season with the UFL's Las Vegas Locomotives and participated in the Seahawks' minicamp.
Team general manager Thomas Dimitroff:
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He has worked extremely hard for this chance over the last year and he has shown us that he is prepared for this opportunity. We are happy that Brian will have a chance to live out his dream of playing in the NFL and we look forward to seeing him on the field.
Break a leg Brian. Or maybe don't.