Pete Carroll was the USC head coach who offered Brian Banks a scholarship when Banks played at Long Beach Poly High School, and Carroll is the coach giving Banks a tryout now that Banks has been cleared of the false rape charge that cost him his college scholarship and landed him in prison.
Although Thursday’s Organized Team Activity session was canceled because the Seahawks violated league rules about contact at offseason practices, the scheduled tryout for Banks will go on as planned. And Carroll says he’s excited about that.
“He’s a young man that has an opportunity to get a second chance at his dream,” Carroll said. “I just think he deserves it and we’re going to give him a really good look and a serious look, and if he does well and we like him we’re going to try to get him to come to minicamp [next week].”
Carroll acknowledged that the odds are against Banks — as they’d be against anyone trying to make it in the NFL without playing college football — but he said he’s thrilled to give Banks a chance to prove he belongs.
“I’m excited for him,” Carroll said. “I’ve talked to him a couple of times this week leading up to this. He’s really excited about the opportunity, very serious about it. And I think the way he came across was special for what he’s been through and just gave me more confidence that we’re doing the right thing by giving him this opportunity.”
It’s a long overdue opportunity for Banks, and giving him that opportunity is something for which the Seahawks should be proud.