Former Long Beach Poly football star Brian Banks made his professional football debut Wednesday evening in Las Vegas. The 26-year-old Banks signed with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL earlier in September.
In 2003, just before he was ready to move onto college with interest from schools like USC, he was convicted of rape by a high school classmate. Banks served five years in prison and five years on parole, all the time maintaining that he was innocent and never raped the classmate in question.
Earlier this year, Banks was finally exonerated of the charges. On May 24, the California Innocence Project cleared Banks of all charges. Videotaped conversations later revealed that the victim finally changed her story and denied a rape had ever occurred.
Banks tried out with six NFL teams this summer in hopes of making a pro football squad. The Seahawks were the first team to try out Banks, and he was again with the team for tryouts on several occasions throughout the summer.