Brian Banks' next NFL stop: the San Francisco 49ers
Brian Banks' NFL dreams will take him to another city this week, this time for a tryout with the San Francisco 49ers.
Banks, the former Long Beach Poly linebacker who drew national attention in recent weeks after a Los Angeles judge overturned his rape conviction from 2002, will join the team for a three-day rookie minicamp beginning Monday, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Banks, 26, spent two days at a Seattle Seahawks minicamp last week, and although he drew praise from Coach Pete Carroll, didn't receive a contract when he left.
"He exceeded my expectations," Carroll said in a video from a news conference posted on the team's website. "He looked much more comfortable than I thought he would. He's not in good shape yet and he's a ways from that, but I was really surprised that he fit in as well as he did."
Banks has also worked out for the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Banks received several tryout offers from pro teams after a Los Angeles judge overturned his conviction May 24, ending a decade of turmoil that began in 2002 when a classmate accused Banks of rape.
At the time, the 17-year-old middle linebacker said he was drawing attention from USC, UCLA and other schools, even though he was just a junior.
He pleaded no contest to charges of kidnapping and rape, spent five years in prison and another five on parole.
Banks met with his accuser last year after the woman reached out to him on Facebook. She admitted she had lied about the rape in a conversation that was taped by Banks and a private investigator, setting the wheels in motion for Banks' exoneration.
"May 24 was the biggest day of my life," he told Jay Leno earlier this month. "I was given my freedom back."
-- Kate Mather
Photo: Brian Banks works out with the Seattle Seahawks last week during an NFL football minicamp practice in Renton, Wash. Credit: Ted S. Warren / Associated Press