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Finally exonerated, Brian Banks wants shot at NFL

Brian Banks

Brian Banks weeps after his rape conviction was dismissed in court Thursday, May 24, 2012, in Long Beach, Calif. It has been 10 years since Banks, then 16, pleaded no contest to a rape charge brought after a childhood friend falsely accused him of attacking her on their high school campus, shattering his dreams of a pro career. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)


Convicted of rape and kidnapping in 2003, former California high school football star Brian Banks is now a free man after the victim recanted. Banks told NBC’s Today on Friday that he wants a shot at pro football.

“I think that any team that gives me an opportunity would be really impressed with what I can do despite all of what I’ve been through these past 10 years,” Banks told Ann Curry of Today.

Banks pleaded no contest as part of a deal that put him in prison for six years; he was facing a maximum sentence of 41 years. He remained on probation, wearing a monitoring device on his ankle at the Thursday hearing that wiped the convictions off his record.

Banks’ accuser, Wanetta Gibson, had previously expressed to Banks a desire to tell the truth, but she feared having to repay a $1.5 million settlement with the school district they attended.

Now 26, Banks was a linebacker in high school. He had verbally committed to attend USC.