Exonerated football player to sign with UFL

LAS VEGAS — Brian Banks, a one-time high school football star who was recently exonerated in a California rape case in which he was falsely accused, is finally getting a chance to play professional football.

The 26-year-old Banks, a linebacker, is signing with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League. The team confirmed the news in a statement Wednesday.

Banks served more than five years in prison following a conviction a decade ago on rape and kidnapping charges. The woman later recanted her claim and offered to help Banks clear his name.

Banks had tryouts with several NFL teams, inlcuding the Seattle Seahawks, but was not signed.

Banks and the Locomotives will announce the signing at a news conference Thursday.

Locomotives coach Jim Fassel said the team is pleased to give Banks “an opportunity in football that was denied him years ago.”

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