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Brian Banks: “Amazing” to see my name on back of jersey

Brian Banks AP

The clearest sign that Brian Banks has been away from football for a long time didn’t come on the field.

His game has some rust on it, to be sure, but the most obvious way to know that Banks hasn’t been spending the last 10 years at practices is that he looked forward to being chewed out by Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. Most players have heard enough from coaches over the years, but it probably sounded like a song to Banks after spending 10 years trying to clear his name from wrongful rape charges. Banks has been exonerated and now he’s getting a chance to make his dream of playing in the NFL come true at Seahawks minicamp.

“I didn’t even know if I was going to have a number, a jersey…I didn’t know what to expect when I first got here,” Banks said. “I got to my locker and saw there was a jersey in it — number 43. And I just wanted to take a picture of it just for myself. It’s just amazing to see my name on the back of it. It’s an honor to be taken serious and to be given this opportunity.”

If this were a fairy tale, Banks would have stepped on the field Wednesday and turned into some unholy mix of Dick Butkus, Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis. It’s real life, though, and Banks’ reps as a backup middle linebacker weren’t on that level. Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports said he didn’t look any more out of place on the field than any other player who wouldn’t make it past the first cut in training camp, which would count as criticism if not for Banks’ background.

Norton said he thought there was a chance that Banks could be an NFL player and that Wednesday’s practice was a good first impression. If Norton can convince the rest of the team of those things, Banks’ improbable run of good fortune will continue through at least the summer.

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30 Responses to “Brian Banks: “Amazing” to see my name on back of jersey”
  1. eaglesfan94 says: Jun 14, 2012 9:45 AM

    It’s been said a hundred times, but I really hope this guy makes a team and succeeds.

  2. rufustfireflyjr says: Jun 14, 2012 9:48 AM

    After all of the bad luck the guy has had, I’d say he’s overdue for an “improbable run of good fortune.”

  3. sj39 says: Jun 14, 2012 9:49 AM

    I still can’t believe they are letting the women who did this to him walk. She should be prosecuted for a number of things a put away for a long, long time as well as anyone that conspired with her.

  4. marshawnlynchlookslikepredator says: Jun 14, 2012 9:50 AM

    Happy to hear he has signed, and it would be awesome if he can make the cut

  5. wildbillesq says: Jun 14, 2012 9:52 AM

    Glad to hear things are going well for him. He got royally screwed out of the last ten years, I hope the next ten make up for it!

  6. qdog112 says: Jun 14, 2012 9:55 AM

    Good luck Brian. There has to be a job in the NFL for you. Keep pounding !!!

  7. cowboysaretheworst says: Jun 14, 2012 10:02 AM

    If he doesn’t make the roster, I hope they at least give him another job with the club. He deserves it.

  8. pape27 says: Jun 14, 2012 10:02 AM

    Pete (or any other NFL coach/team) willing to take on a dev project) should put this kid on the practice squad. Give him a real chance to get his game back.

  9. raiderufan says: Jun 14, 2012 10:06 AM

    First of all, I really hope he makes it. Really really hope he does….but doesn’t he maintain college eligibility? I realize he isn’t a young pup anymore but all he really owes a school based on the rules is a year.

    Go to school for a year, prove you belong and then try for the NFL.

    I really hope he makes it but I just don’t hink his only option is to go right to the top after 10 years away from the game.

  10. cornernum23 says: Jun 14, 2012 10:08 AM

    I hope he stays humble. God honors the humble, and He will honor Banks’ whether it be in the NFL or elsewhere.

  11. randallflagg52 says: Jun 14, 2012 10:11 AM

    Please don’t use Patrick Willis in the same sentance as Ray Lewis and Dick Butkis. Maybe if Willis actually wins Defensive Player of the Year honors you can mention him with the Greats like Lewis and Butkis. But as it stands Lewis and Butkis have been Defensive Players of the Year twice each while Willis has never been close.

  12. renorocker says: Jun 14, 2012 10:20 AM

    If nothing else this is sure to be an LMN movie in the near future.

  13. kane337 says: Jun 14, 2012 10:25 AM

    Best of luck to you Brian Banks. I am rooting for you. I hope you can at least make the practice squad.

  14. Grulks says: Jun 14, 2012 10:26 AM

    raiderufan wrote:
    …but doesn’t he maintain college eligibility?
    =============

    Ther eis a reason why he isn’t eligible for college anymore. I can’t remember what it is, but I did read someplace that he doesn’t have any left.

  15. folkcrusader says: Jun 14, 2012 10:36 AM

    @raiderufan

    No, he does not maintain college eligibility. He played for Long Beach College after being paroled in 2007. The following year he was unable to continue due to law changes for parolees. His five year eligibility window closed last year. I suppose he could apply for a sixth year but that is usually done six months ago.

    He really thought his only shot at this point was to get a pro tryout. I know all the odds are stacked against him, as does he, but we can all dream for him.

  16. EJ says: Jun 14, 2012 10:44 AM

    I am pulling for Banks to make it into some team’s 53 man squad. The kid deserves the shot. If he doesn’t make a 53, I hope he at least makes it to the practice squad.

    As for the broad that framed Banks…
    She should be prosecuted, charged and given some prison time. Falsely accusing someone of rape isn’t something that should be taken lightly, his life has been damaged if not ruined by this B-TCH, she should suffer too.

  17. raiderufan says: Jun 14, 2012 10:55 AM

    Ahhh….gotcha.

    Man I hope this kid makes it at least to a practice squad.

  18. lbijake says: Jun 14, 2012 11:41 AM

    He loses ten years.
    She receives $1,5 million.
    And life goes on.

  19. playin2x says: Jun 14, 2012 12:51 PM

    I’m rooting for this guy … I really hope he makes it … U can tell he is so appreciative of the whole process … Who else would glee about a jersey with their name on it … Really a great story I will continue to follow it !!

  20. siaaa says: Jun 14, 2012 12:54 PM

    is there a true football fan anywhere thats not pulling for this guy..?? if he doesnt make it to the NFL, he should travel the country and speak to high school kids about all his personal experinces, and how he is moving forward with his life witout feeling sorry for himself.

  21. ernie ernie says: Jun 14, 2012 1:04 PM

    I don’t know about this story. Maybe I heard it wrong, but the supposedly raped person just out of the blue, after 5 years, decided to recant her story and thus he gets out???????

    I wonder if money was involved as in, hey if he can get into NFL, you can get a new caddy baby.

    Something is screwy here. I’m not on the bandwagon here.

  22. snargi01 says: Jun 14, 2012 1:11 PM

    If he can’t go back to college maybe he should play arena ball for a year to get his skills back up to par. Then try out for the NFL.

  23. billhicks666 says: Jun 14, 2012 1:12 PM

    randallflagg52 says:

    “…But as it stands Lewis and Butkis have been Defensive Players of the Year twice each while Willis has never been close.”

    And yet another asinine comment from randy. Never been close? That’s a straight up lie. Willis may have not won Defensive POY yet, but he will. He’s that great. And before his career is over, barring injury, his name will deservedly be placed next to Butkus and Lewis.

  24. eaglesnoles05 says: Jun 14, 2012 1:29 PM

    That’s the type of appreciation for the opportunity anNFL player has that I like to see. What a privilege and honor these guys have. Cheers and best of luck, B.Banks. Your attitude will make you the best you can be.

  25. trollhammer20 says: Jun 14, 2012 1:58 PM

    From looking at the first comment, and the thumbs-ups and thumbs-down, I can safely conclude there are three people who visit this web site who have absolutely no soul.
    _____________________________

    ernie ernie says:Jun 14, 2012 1:04 PM

    I don’t know about this story. Maybe I heard it wrong, but the supposedly raped person just out of the blue, after 5 years, decided to recant her story and thus he gets out???????

    I wonder if money was involved as in, hey if he can get into NFL, you can get a new caddy baby.

    Something is screwy here. I’m not on the bandwagon here.
    _____________________________

    Read the whole story. Banks had a private investigator rig up a room with recording devices, then had a conversation with the girl (who he had not spoken with in over ten years), who confessed it was all a setup. Confronted with the tapes, she was in a courtroom a few days later officially recanting her story.

  26. scalfor3 says: Jun 14, 2012 2:03 PM

    kids football skills are obviously rusty, but he’s still a pretty beastly athlete. if nothing else, im sure he could help someone on special teams

  27. thefam3132 says: Jun 14, 2012 2:04 PM

    Ernie Ernie: this girl didn’t come forward to help him get out. He was paroled, she contacted him on facebook wanting to meet, he contacted a P.I. who set up a meeting for the two of them. The P.I. taped the meeting. During the meeting she admitted she had made up the rape for financial gain (her & her mother sued the school dept. and received 1.5 mil), they turned the tape over to the state to exonerate him. Since then she has been in hiding. Also know that there was zero physical evidence of rape- including no DNA and no signs of sexual trauma.

  28. chazatlas says: Jun 14, 2012 2:05 PM

    Good luck Banks. Thank you for the opportunity Seattle. Karma is real and will come back and benefit the Seahawks. You all are doing the right thing.

  29. twelvehundred says: Jun 14, 2012 2:10 PM

    Not only should she be in jail. She should be forced to give back the $1.5M in taxpayers’ money that she won in a settlement with the public school.

  30. One Up the Bum says: Jun 14, 2012 4:16 PM

    Was very hesitant to get a new Seahawks jersey, but now I know that I’m getting a Banks 43 jersey. Hopefully there is a massive run on the jerseys from the fans. That will send a message.

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