Brian Banks, once a USC and UCLA prospect who spent five years in prison due to false rape allegations, may finally get his chance to become an athlete again with multiple professional teams offering him opportunities.
Banks, a Long Beach, Calif. native, was convicted in 2002 of kidnapping and raping 15-year-old Wanette Gibson. The athlete, now 26, was forced to register as a sex offender, serve five years in prison and five years of probation after pleading no contest to the crime at the suggestion of his lawyer.
Recently, Gibson admitted that the story was false and a judge exonerated Banks of all charges. While the California native credited God with being able to overcome the ordeal, he also pleaded with NFL teams to give him an opportunity to build a name for himself as an athlete once again.
"Let me show you what I can produce," Banks told any NFL coaches watching the "Today" show where he appeared recently. "I think that any team that gives me an opportunity will be really impressed with what I can do despite what I've been through these past 10 years."
While USA Today reports that the Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins may be interested in Banks, the 6-4, 225-pound linebacker received a formal workout invitation from the Seattle Seahawks.
Despite spending time away from the football field, Banks said he is in the best shape of his life and ready to show the NFL world what he is made of.
Like us on Facebook
"I've been working out since October," he said in a statement last week. "I'm in the best shape of my life. I put up a personal record of 500 pounds on the squat, 600 on the dead lift and am running the 40-yard dash in the 4.6 to 4.7 range. I feel confident that any team that gave me an opportunity would see I can play football."
If Banks is not picked up by any NFL teams, he has received a guaranteed offer to join the Arizona Diamondbacks, a professional baseball team. Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall spoke about adding Banks to his team.
"Someone like that ... he deserves a break. He got one, and he deserves a career," Hall said in a Fox report. "He has to chase his (NFL) dream first. If he comes back to me and says, 'That didn't work out, are you still willing to have me come out?' Absolutely, we are."