Way to make Falcon nation proud, Thomas Dimitroff. Usually a team picking up a 6'2", 250lb linebacker in April doesn't make a lot of news. This player has fine speed, between a 4.7 and 4.8 40, depending on the source.
But he has no game tape. No college team. No combine performance. He has never played a snap in an NFL game. He received a scholarship offer to play football at USC before his life turned upside down.
More on our newest player, after the jump.
For those who haven't heard of Mr. Banks, he was sentenced to five years in prison back in the early 2000s for sexual assault. Nothing here that would usually make the fans happy their team signed this player. However, Banks was exonerated about a year ago this May. His accuser admitted to fabricating the story in order to reach a large financial settlement from the local school system. Banks never did anything wrong but was punished for the lies of his classmate.
Banks had five years of his life stolen and is hoping to get back to where he thought he would be about five years ago: playing in the NFL. After attending Seattle's minicamp last season, Banks went to play for the Los Vegas Locomotives in the United Football league. Thanks to Thomas Dimitroff, Banks has his first NFL contract and shot at playing in the big time.
I would recommend reading his conference call transcript courtesy of the good people at AtlantaFalcons.com. Our newest addition seems like a high-character player who will work his hardest for the Falcons. I'm filled with pride over signing Banks and believe all of Falcon nation will be rooting for Banks to make the team.
Coach Smith, GM Dimitroff, Mr.Blank, and the #ATL players & personel.. #ThankYou for accepting me into the family.
— Brian Banks(@BrianBanksFREE) April 3, 2013
It would nearly be an upset if Banks made the 53. Simply put, he just has had too much time out of football. He worked under Jim Fassel in Vegas for under a year. His last football experience before that? America was collectively disappointed in Hollywood for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Men in Black II and Die Another Day. It has been looong time.
It can always happen. Atlanta is thinnest at MLB. Banks had the shot to play for a ridiculously talented USC team. His drive may be unparalleled. His athleticism could make up for his lack of X's and O's knowledge and he could start out as a special teams maven, even working his way into the starting lineup. More likely, at least for now, is he snatches up a practice squad position and never looks back.
Regardless, everyone at Grits Blitz wishes Banks the very best in his hopefully long football career. We are proud to have you in Atlanta.