(ATLANTA) — The Atlanta Falcons are giving Brian Banks a second chance to live his dream. The team signed the free agent linebacker this week, one year after he exonerated of rape charges.
Banks spent five years in prison and five years on probation following his false conviction of rape and kidnapping charges a decade ago.
After verbally committing to Southern Cal at the age of 16, a high school classmate accused him of rape.
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 in May of last year.
The 27-year-old Banks will be given a chance to win a spot on the team at inside linebacker.
“All I can do is my best and however the turnout will be, I thank God for the opportunity, he said.”
Banks will take part in the Falcons’ offseason workouts, which are set to begin on April 22.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
John Newsome and Anne Woolsey, CNN