Ex-football star Brian Banks, exonerated of rape, signs with Atlanta Falcons

Rape Conviction Challenged

Nick Ut/AP

Brian Banks, center, reacts with his mother, Leomia Myers and father, Jonathan Banks, outside of a Long Beach court after being exonerated. Banks, a former Long Beach high school football star and prized college recruit, served more than five years in prison.

Brian Banks

Rina Palta/KPCC

Brian Banks with his attorney Justin Brooks spoke to the media shortly after he was exonerated.

Brian Banks Long Beach Unified School District rape false accuse

Erika Aguilar, KPCC

Brian Banks.

APTOPIX Rape Conviction Challenged

Nick Ut/AP

Brian Banks becomes emotional as his attorney Justin Brooks, right, and attorney Alissa Bjerkhoel stand by, as Banks' rape conviction is dismissed Thursday, May 24, 2012, in Long Beach, Calif. It has been 10 years since Banks, then 16, pleaded no contest to a rape charge brought after a childhood friend falsely accused him of attacking her on their high school campus, shattering his dreams of a pro career. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)


Long Beach Polytechnic graduate Brian Banks signed with the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday after the former USC recruit's football dream was derailed when he was convicted of rape and kidnapping charges a decade ago.

The linebacker will participate in Atlanta's off-season workouts with a chance to resume his career. Banks, 27, has been trying to get back into football since he was cleared on May 12, 2012, of a rape conviction.

RELATEDBrian Banks finally exonerated: 'This is the greatest day of my life'

The Falcons are the first NFL team to sign Banks, but he has had chances with other teams. He took part in the Seattle Seahawks' minicamp last June following workouts with Kansas City and San Diego.

The Falcons have scheduled a conference call for Wednesday with Banks.

Banks was 16 and had a scholarship offer from USC when a Long Beach Poly high school classmate accused him of the rape. He spent five years in jail and five years on probation.

The woman recanted her claim and offered to help Banks clear his name after he was out of prison. That helped lead to the conviction being overturned by a California court and Banks' record cleared.

Banks has become a spokesman for the California Innocence Project, which works to exonerate the wrongly accused.

He is expected to attend the Falcons first off-season workout on April 22.

Below is a '60 Minutes' segment on Brian Banks.

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