Brian Banks arrived to his first ever NFL training camp with an emotional and inspirational story, but the linebacker said that although he's not hiding from his past, he's ready to move forward.
"I'm definitely focused on the now," Banks said after the first day of Russell Athletic Training Camp on Thursday. "I don't forget about my experiences or what I've been through. My experiences are some makeup of who I am today. So I definitely take from my past in order to channel energy and direction towards my future."
Banks, who last year was exonerated for a crime he didn't commit, added that given his unique circumstances, it's inevitable that his story will be brought up during the season, but he's planning on turning that into something positive.
"I feel like it's always going to be a topic of discussion because it's a unique situation," the 28-year-old said. "I definitely don't hide from my past. It's something that I feel has to be talked about for people who have been through what I've been through or will go through what I've gone through."
Regarding how he felt playing on the field, Banks said it was "good to be back" but that he realizes the amount of hard work that lies ahead. He also appreciates the efforts of some of the veterans who have been helping him to catch up with the rest of the team and comments on the importance of staying focused while still enjoying himself.
Considering his backstory, he acknowledges the great odds he beat to get to where he is today, but he doesn't plan on stopping there.
"This is just one step of Brian Banks," he said. "This is the dream that was once taken from me. Obtaining a 53-player roster spot is a huge accomplishment. It's an accomplishment that is right up there with being exonerated for a crime I didn't commit. But it's just the beginning of many more things to come."