Could Former High School Star LB Brian Banks Be the Next Unknown Who Dat?

In a story that came out on Friday, Brian Banks, former prep linebacking football star and USC recruit who was exonerated Thursday of the rape charges that put him in prison 10 years ago, said in a Friday morning appearance on The Today Show that he still wants to play in the NFL.

In this unprecedented year for the Saints, maybe it's time for an unprecedented move that could prove to be the ultimate sinner-to-saint transformation, and the team should consider giving this guy a shot at making the squad.

Make the jump for more on this unique story.

According to this NFL.com story, at age 16, Banks was wrongfully accused of rape by a classmate but he pleaded guilty on the advice of his attorney. After spending five years in prison, he was released and had to register as a sex offender and wear a tracking device.

In a scene that could have been pulled from the plot of a 21 Jump Street episode, his accuser reached out to him through Facebook for a bit of reconciliation, and he convinced her to meet him to discuss the possibility of clearing his name. She was hesitant to do so, but he recorded their conversations and then attorneys took it all back to the judge, and Banks had his name and record cleared on Thursday.

Wow.

Sportingnews.com also covered this, and si.com ran the AP story.

I know he's been out of the game for 10 years and never played college football. But as I said above, I know it's an insanely long shot, but maybe this is EXACTLY the year that something like this could pan out and be the most amazing low risk-high reward scenario if the Saints bring him to camp as an UDFA and he actually makes the team.

From espn.com's AP story:

At the news conferences that followed the court hearing, Banks' agent Justin Brooks appealed to NFL teams to give Banks a chance. He said Banks has been training six days a week to get in shape for the career he wants.

"He has the speed and the strength. He certainly has the heart," Brooks said. "I hope he gets the attention of people in the sports world."

Before all this crashed down, he was recruited by some big schools and Banks had verbally accepted a full scholarship to USC, which has cranked out some pretty good linebackers recently.

* * *

Now you tell me, do you think it's worth a shot?

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