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Exonerated Ex-Football Star Set For NFL Tryout With Former USC Coach

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Brian Banks at an undisclosed training facility in Southern California. (courtesy of
Heidi Cruise / California Western School of Law)

Brian Banks at an undisclosed training facility in Southern California. (courtesy of
Heidi Cruise / California Western School of Law)

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SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A former Long Beach Polytechnic High School football star exonerated of rape and kidnapping charges last week is set for his first NFL tryout.

Brian Banks, 26, will get the opportunity of a lifetime Thursday when he works out for Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who headed the University of Southern California to seven consecutive BCS bowl appearances and had recruited Banks out of high school.

Banks was unable to accept the full-ride scholarship after he was arrested and charged with sexual assault at the age of 16.

Even after he was convicted and sentenced to six years in state prison in 2003, Banks continued to maintain his innocence. He was exonerated of rape and kidnapping charges on May 24 in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Despite having served five years in prison and five years on parole for crimes he did not commit, Banks has not missed a beat in preparing for what was only months ago little more than an unrealized potential.

“Brian has been 100 percent focused on getting ready for the biggest moment of his life,” said his attorney Justin Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project. “He will be ready when he steps on that football field in Seattle, both mentally and physically.”

The Seahawks tryout marks Banks’ first meeting with six teams over the next two weeks.

“I am ready to show the NFL what I’m capable of, and excited to just get out there and play football,” Banks said.

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