SEATTLE (AP) — Brian Banks isn’t going to pass up an offer from Seattle coach Pete Carroll to keep his NFL dreams alive.
Banks’ agent, Bruce Tollner confirmed Sunday that after flying to Kansas City for a workout with the Chiefs, Banks is expected to head to the Pacific Northwest and participate in the Seahawks’ minicamp. The minicamp starts Tuesday, and Banks’ first day taking part with the Seahawks is expected to be Wednesday.
The 26-year-old Banks was a one-time high school star at Long Beach Poly who was recently exonerated in a California rape case in which he was falsely accused. Banks served more than five years in prison and was on probation wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet around his ankle when a judge threw out the conviction late last month. 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. Banks, a star linebacker in high school, measured 6-foot-2 and 239 pounds and is getting looked at as a linebacker option for the Seahawks.
Following the workout, Carroll said he wanted to bring Banks’ back for the minicamp and see him on the field. Banks initially hesitated saying he needed to speak with his agent about his other options, causing Carroll to joke that he needed to recruit Banks yet again. Banks had given a verbal commitment to play football at USC for Carroll before the accusations were made and Banks ended up in jail.
While impressed with his raw athleticism during his private workout last week, Carroll freely acknowledged that Banks is not refined to the level of an NFL linebacker and whatever expectations are placed on Banks need to reflect his lack of football schooling during the last 10 years.
Banks did say that after his release from prison, he played one season of football at Long Beach City College in 2007.
“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