As the Atlanta Falcons trim down their roster to 75, there is one particular man left standing who is cherishing every second of this opportunity. 28-year old rookie linebacker Brian Banks has an amazing story of how he got to the NFL, and this summer he has taken every second and held it tight.
“I love every moment being out here,” Banks said according to FOX News after a recent practice. “Regardless of what happens, this is an amazing addition to my life experiences.”
Banks spent the last decade out of football due to a crime he did not commit. He was wrongfully accused of rape and put in prison for five years. After that, he was on probation for nearly another five. His accuser was caught secretly on tape admitting that she lied, thus Banks’ freedom to finally get a shot at the sport he’s longed to play again.
As of Tuesday, the Falcons had cut tight end Tim Biere, fullback Devonte Campbell, linebacker Nick Clancy, tight end Colin Cloherty, quarterback Seth Doege, defensive end Cam Henderson, tackle Jeff Nady, running back Donald Russell, safety Troy Sanders, center Matt Smith, defensive end Brandon Thurmond, wide receiver Rashad Evans, wide receiver Marcus Jackson and wide receiver Marcus Sales.
Atlanta now sits at 75 players, right where they’re supposed to be. Banks has made the first cut. While he’s still a long shot to make the roster come time for the season opener, he’s still cherishing every moment as if it’s his last.
Falcons head coach Mike Smith acknowledges Banks’ improvement and potential to even find himself on the practice squad. “But he’s been very resilient. His learning curve has been really accelerated. I’m really impressed with him in terms of where he started and where he is right now.”