Brian Banks, the former standout high school middle linebacker out of Long Beach, Calif., tweeted on Saturday evening that he has been shortlisted for two National Football League teams.
He is also considering the United Football League if he doesn’t get a call from the NFL. Given that Banks spent six years of his life behind bars, this latest bit of news is surely encouraging.
Here are Banks’ tweets below:
As NewsOne previously reported, Banks was falsely accused of raping a fellow high school classmate when they were making out in a stairwell in the summer of 2002. At the time, he was a 17-year-old college-bound football star with an extremely bright future.
But Wanetta Gibson, the girl with whom Banks made out that summer, said that he raped her. Banks was charged with rape and went to trial where his lawyer advised him to take plea. The young Banks took his lawyer’s advice and pleaded no contest to the charge and spent six years in jail.
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After Banks was released, he took odd jobs to make ends meet.
“I’ve been unemployed since I’ve been out,” he told USAToday in May. “I’ve had one real job, working in a warehouse. I’ve had to live with my mom, then with my girlfriend, and for the past seven or eight months with my brother, to survive.”
But in 2011, he got a Facebook message that would change his life. Gibson sent him a note saying “Let’s let bygones be bygones.” Banks hired a private investigator who videotaped a meeting between himself, Gibson and Banks where then woman admitted to lying about the rape. Banks was exonerated at the end of May.
Since then, Banks has been trying out for NFL teams and has been offered a number of jobs including one with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has had tryouts with as many as five NFL teams but has not been given a contract.
At 26-years-old many doubt that he has the skill or the conditioning to compete against men who have been playing the game at the highest level non-stop. But Banks has not been deterred by such skepticism. And this recent news of a possible NFL roster spot is giving the NFL aspirant an even greater reason to smile.
He tweeted as much:
Indeed, Mr. Banks, you already have.