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Brian Banks signs with Las Vegas Locomotives

September 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
It's a dream come true for a former high school football star falsely accused of rape, then exonerated 10 years later. He is finally getting his chance to play professional football.

Brian Banks was a Long Beach Poly High School football star with a promising future when he was sent to prison and served over five years for a rape he didn't commit. In May, a judge overturned Banks' conviction after his accuser recanted her story.

Banks had dreamed of playing professional football and was expected to attend USC on a football scholarship before his arrest.

"No matter what situation I was put in, no matter the experience that I went through, I didn't allow that experience to dictate what I did with me and how I controlled myself while in that situation," Banks said.

After he was exonerated, the man Banks was supposed to play for nearly a decade ago -- former USC coach-turned-Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll -- gave the 26-year-old a shot at making the team. He took part in Seattle's minicamp in June and also had tryouts with two other teams.

He didn't get signed by the NFL, but the linebacker will finally take the field as a pro with the Las Vegas Locomotives in the United Football League.

"Whatever your passion is in life, whatever your dream is in life, whatever your truth is in life, stand by it and you hold it to be true," he said.

The Locomotives' coach said he is pleased to be able to give Banks the opportunity in football that was denied him years ago. Banks says he's not bitter about what he went through, he is just grateful for the opportunity he finally has.


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