Falcons will give Brian Banks a chance

At age 27, Brian Banks will get his first real chance to make an NFL roster.

Although he’s been given a few tryouts in the past, Banks never has been through an NFL offseason program. He’ll get that chance this year.

The linebacker, who spent more than five years in prison before being exonerated, was signed by the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday morning. Banks will join the Falcons when they begin their offseason program this month.

Banks was a highly recruited prospect and committed to the University of Southern California. But he never got to play college football. Banks was charged with rape and kidnapping when he was 17 and sent to prison when he turned 18. He later was exonerated of all charges after his accuser recanted her claim.

Banks played for Las Vegas in the United Football League in 2012.

We’ll hear more from Banks in a few hours. He is scheduled to do a media conference call, and we’ll be back with the highlights.