Washington Redskins’ executive vice president and head coach Mike Shanahan on Thursday confirmed that the Redskins have offered Brian Banks — a former standout high school linebacker wrongfully convicted of rape and kidnapping after a 2002 incident — a tryout.
Shanahan said he recently called Banks, 26, to offer him the tryout after hearing about the ordeal.
“I think when somebody goes through the situation that he went through, you know, he deserves an opportunity to try out for somebody,” Shanahan told reporters after Thursday’s round of organized team activities at Redskins Park. “Concerning what he went through — just reading about it, I don’t know him personally — I called him up and said, ‘Hey, we’d love to have you out.’”
Shanahan said Banks will try out for the Redskins next week to “see what type of shape he’s in and see if there’s a chance.”
Banks’ story has been well-publicized since it all went down in 2002, but ESPN columnist Rick Reilly put it all in perspective with this piece Wednesday:
“A judge in Long Beach, Calif., threw out his kidnapping and rape conviction last week after looking at a videotape of his accuser admitting she lied. After 10 years, he was suddenly a free and innocent man.
“My mouth hurts from smiling so much,” Banks told me Tuesday night. “Unbelievable.””
Banks was 16 and had already been offered a full-ride scholarship to USC to play linebacker for the Trojans when the alleged incident occurred at his California high school.
He served 62 months of a six-year prison sentence on charges of rape and kidnapping. After spending more than 1,800 days in the slammer, he had to register as a convicted sex felon and wear a GPS ankle bracelet 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But, as Reilly reported, “On Thursday, May 24, in a Long Beach courtroom, Banks got his future back” after his wrongful conviction of rape and kidnapping was overturned when his accuser recanted her story.
Banks has also reportedly been offered tryouts with the San Diego Chargers, the Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here’s the video of Shanahan’s press conference following today’s round of OTAs, via Redskins.com TV. Shanahan’s comments about Banks begin at the 9:17 mark:
Tags: Brian Banks, linebacker, mike shanahan, tryout, washington redskins
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