"This is by far the second-best day of my life -- May 24, my day of exoneration, and today," Banks said Thursday after getting a tryout with the Seattle Seahawks. "Just being out here on the field and work out with the Seahawks and to be given an opportunity to have a tryout, I don't really have words for it. It's a dream come true. I know a lot of people work hard to get to this point. I've worked hard myself and I'm just thankful for this opportunity."
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound middle linebacker had been a blue-chip prospect with offers from Southern California -- when Carroll coached the Trojans -- UCLA, Ohio State and Michigan when he was wrongfully accused of rape.
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Banks spent five years in prison after accepting a plea deal on one count of forcible rape. Following his release from prison, Banks had to register as a sex offender and wear an electronic tracking bracelet. Banks' conviction was overturned last month after his accuser admitted she lied.
"This is a great illustration for us why people deserve a second chance," Carroll said. "Because of what he has overcome and because of what lies ahead for him in his life. This is just one step but it's a step he's been dreaming about for a long time. And it's just such a great illustration about not giving up and competing for what you want and not let your circumstances or surroundings dictate what is going to happen in your life."