Brian Banks returning to Seattle for minicamp
By Danny O'Neil | The Seattle Times
Fans may not have a chance to watch the Seahawks' mini-camp this week, but that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of people rooting for Brian Banks when he attends the final two days of Seattle's minicamp on Wednesday and Thursday.
Banks is the former USC football recruit from Los Angeles who spent five years in prison on rape and kidnapping charges only to be exonerated 10 years later after the alleged victim recanted.
Banks participated in a solo audition for the Seahawks coaches last Thursday, and the 6-foot-2, 239-pound linebacker was impressive enough to be invited back to continue the tryout in the Seahawks' minicamp.
Banks will take Seattle up on that according to his agent, Bruce Tollner. The news was first reported by the Associated Press, and subsequently confirmed by Tollner. Banks plans to try out for the Kansas City Chiefs on Tuesday, and after that, he plans to return to Seattle and take part in the final two days of the Seahawks' three-day minicamp, which starts Tuesday and runs through Thursday.
The minicamp is mandatory for all Seahawks' veterans, and it marks the conclusion of Seattle's offseason program for players. As a tryout player, Banks would participate in the drills, and the Seahawks will have the option of extending him a contract offer depending on how he performs in the camp.
Banks is 26 years old, and was recruited out of Long Beach Poly in Southern California, accepting a scholarship offer from USC coach Pete Carroll in his junior year. Before his senior year in high school, Banks was accused of rape by a fellow student at the school. Facing a prison sentence of more than 40 years, Banks was advised by his lawyer to accept a plea bargain, which Banks eventually did. He pleaded no contest to charges of rape and kidnapping, and served five years of his six-year sentence.
He played one season of football for Long Beach City College after he was released. That was 2007, but after that, he was required to wear a GPS-tracking device, which forced him to give up football.
At least he had to give up until last month when he was exonerated in California Superior Court.
Banks has tried out for the Seahawks, the Chargers and is headed to Kansas City to get a look from the Chiefs.