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Brian Banks runs Falcons' defense at rookie minicamp

Brian Banks is 27 years old. It's not a normal age for an NFL rookie, but normal really isn't in the equation when talking about Banks' life and football career.

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A former high school star who essentially lost 10 years of his life over a crime he didn't commit, Banks is getting his shot at an NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons.

Playing in a rookie minicamp with players who mostly are six years younger than him, Banks ran the defense at the middle linebacker spot, the Falcons' official website reported Saturday.

It's a sharp learning curve for a player who never saw a snap of college action.

"It was real good today to get out there," Banks said. "I've been in film the last two weeks, so to get a chance to get out there and put all the knowledge that we've been putting on paper out onto the field was a really good experience for the first time. It was really fast-paced. I made a lot of really good moves, made a lot of mistakes, so adjustments will be made."

Banks tweeted Sunday about his first minicamp experience.

The NFL is not a place of charity. Roster spots are too valuable, and Banks won't make the Falcons on goodwill alone. He'll need to show he's physically ready and mentally connected to a game that moves much faster than it did in his high school days.

If Banks is on the field for the Falcons in Week 1, consider it one of the NFL's great underdog triumphs.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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