Brian Banks' dream was always to make it to the NFL. A star player at Long Beach Poly High School in California, it seemed it was just a matter of time before Banks' dream would be realized.
But life has a way of changing the best of plans, and Banks' path to the NFL took a heartbreaking detour.
Banks was accused, charged, and convicted of rape — a set of circumstances that cost him five years of his life in prison. Another five on probation after serving the sentence came and went before Banks was exonerated after his accuser admitted to making the story up.
His NFL dream was back on track — after 10 years away from the game — as he had a tryout with the Seattle Seahawks before the Falcons signed him during the 2013 offseason and put him on a path to have a chance at making the roster.
Banks was one of the casulaties of final cuts that year for the Falcons, but the mark he left on the players around him at the time and the franchise he suited up for is still palpable. After he and the Falcons parted ways, the cleats may have been hung up but the dream wasn't.
Late last year, Banks made it to the NFL — albeit in a different capacity than he expected. After speaking at the 2014 Rookie Symposium, he so impressed Commissioner Roger Goodell that he was offered a job a few weeks after the speech, as Yahoo! Sports' Eric Adelson reports in an update published Monday night.
Banks is working as a member of the NFL's department of operations — a job that requires him to pay close attention to games on Sunday and inform the NFL's head of officiating, Dean Blandino, if he sees anything controversial that requires a closer look.
"It's awesome," Banks told Adelson. "I guess I would say it's new and something I've been doing. It's the game of football. It's the love of football. It's the knowledge and understanding of it. This is my first look at corporate America."
The Rookie Club that Banks came through the Falcons organization recently sent him a signed helmet to display in his new NFL office.
That's not all for Banks since we last saw him in a Falcons uniform. He announced last year that a feature film is in the works about his life and story. Most recently, Banks announced this month that the movie's director, Lee Daniels — the creator and director of the new hit show "Empire" on Fox — would be hiring a writer for the script in the near future. No actors have been picked yet.
Follow Banks' story on his official Facebook page, his Twitter account and on Instagram.