Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Brian Banks, a promising football player who was wrongly convicted of rape when he was 17, has been contacted by six NFL teams over the past two days, according to his attorney. His conviction of rape and kidnapping charges was overturned last Thursday in a Los Angeles courtroom.
Banks, now 26, served five years in prison and five years on parole. He has scheduled his first tryout with the Seattle Seahawks for June 7.
The Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins also have called to talk to him about a tryout, according to ESPN.
"This is what I have dreamed about my entire life," Banks said. "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."
Banks appeared on KPBS Midday Edition Monday with his attorney, Justin Brooks, the director of the California Innocence Project.
"He served five years in prison. He actually wrote to us while he was in prison," Brooks told KPBS.
Banks was a star middle linebacker at Long Beach Polytechnic High School and said he had agreed to a full scholarship with the University of Southern California Trojans before he was charged.
Then a childhood friend accused him of rape in 2002, and he pleaded no contest.
After Banks was released from prison, the woman who accused him contacted him to say she had made her story up. She gave a statement that it never happened, which the California Innocence Project recorded.
The California Innocence Project is a California Western School of Law clinical program dedicated to the release of wrongfully convicted inmates. The project reviews about 2,000 claims from inmates each year and has earned the exoneration of nine wrongfully convicted clients since it started in 1999.