Brian Banks was a star middle linebacker at Long Beach Polytechnic High School who'd made a verbal commitment to play for the University of Southern California when a childhood friend, Wantta Gibson, claimed that he had raped her. On advice of counsel, he pleaded no contest to rape and an enhancement of kidnapping to avoid a life sentence, but that meant he spent five years and two months in prison.
After he was released, Gibson reached out to him on Facebook and admitted that she'd falsely accused him. Last week, Banks, now 26, was exonerated. And now he may also have a chance to live out his teenage dream of playing professional football. The Seattle Seahawks confirmed Wednesday they will hold a tryout for Banks, who said he's been training six days a week to get in shape for the career he always wanted.
From the Huffington Post:
Seattle coach Pete Carroll did not speak following the Seahawks' offseason workout on Wednesday, but the team confirmed that Banks will work out for the team on June 7.
"This is what I have dreamed about my entire life," Banks said in a statement from the California Western School of Law, home of the California Innocence Project. "I am ready to show the NFL what I am capable of doing. I want as many opportunities with as many NFL teams who are willing to give me a shot."
Seattle may not be the only team. The statement says a half-dozen NFL teams have gotten in contact with Banks, and ESPN.com reported some of those include the Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins.
Banks' attorney, Justin Brooks, head of the California Innocence Project, could not be immediately reached for comment.
The 26-year-old Banks pleaded no contest 10 years ago on the advice of a lawyer after a childhood friend falsely accused him of attacking her on their high school campus. Last Thursday, a judge threw out the conviction that sent Banks to prison for more than five years.
Read more at the Huffington Post.