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Linebacker makes debut with Atlanta Falcons after rape conviction overturned


July 25, 2013: Atlanta Falcons linebacker Brian Banks (53) prays before working out at NFL football training camp in Flowery Branch, Ga. Banks is getting a chance with the Falcons after being sent to prison for a rape he didn't commit. (AP/John Bazemore)

Brian Banks says his preseason debut with the Atlanta Falcons was "better than any roller-coaster ride you can ever get on."

The 28-year-old Banks could cherish that high even more than a normal rookie because his life has hit lows few can imagine.

Banks spent five years in prison and five years on probation following his conviction of rape and kidnapping charges a decade ago. He is free to finally pursue his career as a NFL linebacker because the woman who made the charge when Banks was a 16-year-old high school junior recanted her accusation.

The conviction was overturned by a California court on May 12, 2012.

Banks, who signed with the Falcons in March, had two tackles in the Falcons' 34-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night.