Brian Banks invited back for Seahawks' minicamp
Two weeks after he was exonerated of charges of rape and kidnapping, the former high-school star had an audition at the Seahawks' facility, just him and the Seahawks' coaches, including Pete Carroll, who offered him a scholarship to USC almost 10 years ago.
That was before Banks was accused of rape, pleading no contest and sentenced to six years in prison. He served more than five years, and has been on parole ever since until his accuser admitted the allegation was fabricated. That led to his exoneration last week in California Superior Court, and on Wednesday night, he boarded a plane for the first time in 15 years.
He arrived in Seattle just after midnight, traveling with his girlfriend and attorney and he was up at 6:45 on Thursday for an NFL tryout that he not only embraced, but was grateful for. He answered questions after the workout wearing a sweatshirt that proclaimed "XONR8."
"I feel more appreciative of the opportunity than I feel deserving," Banks said.
There are a number of people who would dispute that, foremost among them Carroll.
"He deserved a chance," Carroll said. "This was a guy who just deserved it."
Banks ran the 40-yard dash, but didn't know the time the team logged. Banks said he has been running in the mid 4.6's, low 4.7's in training for this. He is 6 feet 2, 239 pounds.
Carroll saw enough that he knew he wanted to see more. Banks has been invited to the team's three-day minicamp, which begins Tuesday. Banks has been offered tryouts with at least five other teams, and he said he would consult with his agent before deciding whether to accept Seattle's offer of an additional tryout.
"Regardless of how it turns out, it's the fact that he's made it to this point and he's going to get this opportunity, I hope it helps other people," Carroll said. "That's an emotional exchange, it's worth passing along."