Eleven years ago, 16-year-old Brian Banks accepted a USC football scholarship from Pete Carroll. Before he had a chance to get on the field, a rape conviction forced him to serve five years in prison. After getting his conviction overturned last May, Banks resumed his football career. He even earned a few NFL workouts, but they didn't go anywhere. Even after his release, NFL teams weren't too keen on working out a convicted rapist. . However, according to CBS News, Banks' NFL career may have finally found some forward momentum.
Banks, 27, signed with the Falcons on Wednesday, giving him an opportunity he said he did not believe would be possible when he spent five years in prison and five years on probation following his conviction of rape and kidnapping charges a decade ago.
"I felt at the time in order for me to exit prison with a sane mind and be able to just function as a person I had to let go of certain dreams and goals I once held in life, football being one of them," Banks said.
Banks said he "couldn't have asked for a better place to be" than with the Falcons.
"I can't believe this is happening," he said. "It's surreal."
Banks' story is an inspirational one, but now he has to spend the summer proving he can make a 53-man roster. Beginning on April 22, the 6-2, 250 pound Banks will begin participating in Atlanta's offseason workouts. If he makes the roster, Banks will be playing for one of the NFC's best teams. Here's hoping he makes it.