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Originally published Sunday, June 10, 2012 at 7:14 PM

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Brian Banks will get minicamp tryout with Seahawks

Exonerated former USC linebacker will work with team in final offseason practices Wednesday and Thursday

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Fans may not get the chance to watch the Seahawks' offseason minicamps, but that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of people rooting for Brian Banks when he tries out for the team in its final two offseason practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

If you don't know Banks by now, he's the 26-year-old former USC recruit who last month was exonerated of rape and kidnapping charges that cost him five years in prison and ended a promising football career before it ever got a chance to really get going.

Only it turns out that career might not be over after all.

Banks is a 6-foot-2, 239-pound linebacker who participated in a solo audition for the Seahawks last week, performing well enough that coach Pete Carroll invited him back to continue his tryout during Seattle's final minicamp.

Banks will do just that as soon as he gets back from Kansas City, where he will audition for the Chiefs on Tuesday. From there, Banks will head back to Seattle, his agent, Bruce Tollner, confirmed.

The minicamp is mandatory for all Seahawks veterans, and it marks the conclusion of Seattle's offseason program for players. As a tryout player, Banks will participate in the drills alongside the rest of Seattle's roster, and the Seahawks will have the option of extending him a contract offer depending on how he performs.

Banks also tried out for the San Diego Chargers after his initial audition in Seattle last week.

Banks was recruited out of Long Beach Poly in Southern California, accepting a scholarship offer from then-USC coach Carroll in his junior year. Before his senior year in high school, Banks was accused of rape by a fellow student at the school.

Facing a prison sentence of more than 40 years, Banks was advised by his lawyer to accept a plea bargain, which Banks eventually did. He pleaded no contest to charges of rape and kidnapping, and served five years of his six-year sentence.

He was exonerated in California Superior Court last month after the alleged victim in the case admitted she fabricated the incidents that led to the charges.

Banks has played one season of football in the past decade, for Long Beach City College in 2007 after he was paroled from prison.

After that year, he was required to wear a GPS-tracking device, which forced him to give up football.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @dannyoneil.

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