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Brian Banks invited to Seahawks' minicamp

Following a workout with the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday morning, linebacker Brian Banks has received an invitation to participate in the team's minicamp next week on a tryout basis, Tim Booth of The Associated Press reports.

Banks will discuss the offer with his agent before making a decision, according to Booth. Banks has drawn interest from other teams, including the Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs, who have offered opportunities for Banks to try out.

"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."

Banks has been training for an NFL opportunity since last October. The fact that the Seahawks were the first to call did not come as a surprise considering Carroll's connection to Banks.

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