|Banks is on 'standby' right now. (AP)|
The exoneration of former high-school standout Brian Banks is, without question, one of the best feel-good stories of the year. If Banks could end up playing professional football, well, that would just be gravy.
Unfortunately, the NFL dream isn't looking entirely concrete at the moment. Banks went in "The Jungle" on Monday and told Jim Rome (who you may know from CBS Sports Network's ROME) that he's currently on "standby" with a couple teams and that he's also considering the UFL "as another option."
"God has been good. I've been working my butt off and meeting God halfway with any additional blessings post-exoneration. I've tried out with a couple of teams, I've gotten some great feedback," Banks told Rome. "I've been put on the short list of a couple of teams and right now I'm just on standby waiting for that call. In the meantime while I'm on standby and shooting for this goal, I'm also looking into the UFL as another option.
"I wanna play football and I've been working hard at it. So being on these two different shortlist and having the opportunity to be called, I'm going to make sure I'm still fresh."
Banks is an inspirational story if there ever was one. He never gave up hope that he'd eventually be freed from wrongful imprisonment and he's refusing to give up his dream that he'll play in the NFL.
But considering Banks already had a number of tryouts (including with the 49ers and Seahawks) and hasn't been able to stick yet, it's hard to imagine something opening up immediately for him. That's surprising, too, given his age (26), his story and his relatively untapped potential.
Fortunately, Banks still knows what the important thing in life is: his freedom.
"I'm still shooting at it, I'm still working hard and it'll happen," Banks said. "And regardless of whether it happens or it doesn't happen, the main thing for me was getting my freedom back, getting my life back. So I've already won. I'm unbroken and I'm still here today. Football is a dream and I hope to fulfill that dream."
Here's hoping that he does, even if it involves the UFL or finding his way onto an NFL practice squad in 2012.
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