Brian Banks Signs With Atlanta Falcons

Exonerated football player gets another chance to play professionally.

Posted: 04/04/2013 10:02 AM EDT

Football player Brian Banks is slowly returning to the life that was taken away from him after five years of imprisonment and five years of probation for a rape he didn't commit.

The 27-year-old signed with the Atlanta Falcons this week.

"Aside from getting my life back and my freedom back, this is the biggest accomplishment of my life," he told reporters during a conference call, according to CNN.

Banks was exonerated in May 2012 after the accuser admitted she was never kidnapped or raped by him.

The former high school football star was convicted of raping classmate Wanetta Gibson in 2002, and served five years in prison and five years probation for the rape conviction.

His accuser had sued the school district claiming lack of safety on campus and was awarded $1.5 million in damages. Gibson contacted Banks over Facebook after he was released from prison in the form of a friend request. Banks says he accepted reluctantly, and the two arranged a face-to-face meeting where Gibson admitted to lying about the rape — and Banks secretly taped Gibson’s confession.

(BET.com reporter Naeesa Aziz contributed to this article.)

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(Photo: AP Photo/The Seattle Times, John Lok)

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