Brian Banks accepts offer to pursue shot at NFL dream with Seahawks
By Josh Kerns
June 11, 2012
The second chance at an NFL dream will continue in the Pacific Northwest for Brian Banks, the 26-year-old California man recently exonerated after spending over five years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.
The 26-year-old was freed several weeks ago after a woman who accused him of rape admitted she lied.
After impressing Seahawks coaches during a workout last week in Renton, head coach Pete Carroll invited Banks to attend the team’s minicamp this week on a tryout basis.
His agent, Bruce Tollner, confirmed Sunday that after flying to Kansas City for a workout with the Chiefs, Banks will return to Renton to take part in the minicamp. It starts Tuesday, and Banks’ first day playing with the Seahawks is expected to be Wednesday.
“The offers that I’ve received, the opportunities that I’ve received, you know men dream of those days,” Banks said after working out last week.
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.
In a strange turn of events, the woman later recanted her claim and offered to help Banks clear his name after he was out of prison, a process that led to his conviction being overturned and his record cleared.
“This is a great illustration for us of why people deserve a second chance and because of what he’s overcome, and because of what lies ahead for him in his life, this is just one step but it is a step that he’s been dreaming about for a long time,” Carroll said last week. “It’s just such a great illustration about not giving up and about competing for what you want and not letting the circumstances or your surroundings dictate what’s going to happen in your life.”
Banks had a private workout at the Seahawks practice facility Thursday where he was put through a variety of drills and ran a 40-yard dash. Carroll said he wanted to bring Banks back for the minicamp and see him on the field. Banks had given a verbal commitment to play football at USC for Carroll before his legal troubles derailed his dreams.
“I’m honored to have all of these people, all of these coaches from different teams, give me this opportunity with not seeing me play in so long,” Banks said last week.