Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reports that the Falcons have signed linebacker Brian Banks to a contract.
Banks was a highly-touted linebacker coming out of Long Beach Poly High School in 2002, having been offered a scholarship to Southern California from former coach Pete Carroll. But he was wrongly accused and convicted of rape and kidnapping and spent 62 months in jail. Afterwards while on probation, he was forced to register as a sex offender, impacting his ability to get work. But in 2012, after the alleged victim recanted, he was exonerated and Banks was finally free.
He quickly proceeded to get workouts from NFL teams, including first with the Seattle Seahawks now coached by Carroll. He also received tryouts from the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs before finding a home with the Las Vegas Locos in the United Football League last September. In two games with the Locos, Banks recorded a tackle on special teams. The UFL folded this past October after four games played.
Banks, now 27, stands 6-1 and 240 pounds, and likely will compete for a practice squad position via a role on special teams.