In his continuing bid to get his football career and life back on track, Brian Banks makes his way to another tryout, this time with the San Francisco 49ers.
Banks, convicted of rape at 17, spent five years behind bars, wiping out any chance of playing college football, even though he was being heavily eyed by many prominent programs, such as USC. His story took a twist when his accuser admitted on tape that she lied about the rape charges, and that admission set into motion a series of events that led to the May 24 overturning of that conviction.
Pete Caroll, one-time head coach of USC and now that of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, had already had Banks in for a tryout last week at the Seahawks minicamp, and he had praise for the linebacker, though no contract was agreed upon. He now finds his way to the 49ers’ rookie minicamp, and looks to prove himself to Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco coaches.
Making the team at inside linebacker could be tough, as the position is solidified with All-Pro player Patrick Willis, and up-and-comer NaVorro Bowman, whose strong play almost got him into the Pro Bowl last year. Those two make up one of the strongest one-two punches at the position in the league, but there is no reason that Banks couldn’t provide depth at a position known for taking a toll on players.
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh also loves having a special teams ace or two on the squad, and Banks may have to catch on in that role first before finding a full time roster spot on defense.
All in all, there are a lot of people rooting for Brian Banks to succeed, and if he can show the hustle and desire he once had all those years ago in high-school, he could find himself standing on the sidelines with the San Francisco 49ers come this September.
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