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Former USC recruit, exonerated convict, to tryout for Redskins


Former USC recruit, exonerated convict, to tryout for Redskins

Former USC recruit Brian Banks is expected to tryout with the Redskins, according to ESPN.

Banks, a middle linebacker at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, had his football career cut short in 2002 when he plead no contest to a schoolmate's false accusation of rape at the age of 17. Banks spent his next five years in a jail cell.

Last week Banks was completely exonerated of his rape and kidnapping conviction after a ten-year nightmare when his accuser admitting to lying about a charge she made at sixteen years of age.

While fighting his case in 2003 --a battle that cost his mother both her condo and her car-- Banks worked toward completing his high school degree. Despite his grim circumstances, Banks never gave up on himself and his future while in prison. He took college courses. He remained athletic. He focused on life beyond bars.

"Those first few months were the hardest for me," Banks said in an ESPNLA interview. "There were times where I just wanted to give up and give in to the life and environment of prison but it was at that time that I realized: I'm in here for something I didn't do. I'm not even supposed to be here.

"With that in mind I vowed to myself to focus on the betterment of me, regardless of the environment. I wanted to focus on my attitude and outlook of what I wanted to be regardless of what people thought of me or labeled me to be. I just focused on bettering myself and moving forward ... it's gotten me to where I am today: a free man with a good heart and strong mind."

Banks has been working vigorously with personal trainers since October in the hopes of achieving a dream he was forced to shelve for a decade.

"I live by the saying, 'Good things come to those who hustle while they wait,'" explained Banks. "There is nothing in this world that I feel is too difficult for me, or too hard for me to accomplish because the hardest thing for me to do was to become free --and I accomplished that." said Banks. "Everything else is sky's the limit."

With Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, London Fletcher, Lorenzo Alexander and recent additions Keenan Robinson and Jonathan Goff, the Redskins will probably just be looking to add some inexpensive padding to their depth charts at the linebacker position, which could be a great scenario for both the Redskins and Banks.

"I'm confident in what I've done so far," said Banks. "I know that if given the opportunity to show my talents any team would be impressed with what I can do, despite all the things that I've been through these last ten years."

Banks is also expected to workout with the Seahawks, Chiefs and Dolphins.

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A tribute to a fallen hero: CSNMA's top ten Vines of all time

A tribute to a fallen hero: CSNMA's top ten Vines of all time

There are 14,400 six-second increments in every day, which means a single six-second increment is usually not all that important. That all changed in January 2013, however, when Vine launched and turned any six second window into a place of endless possibilities. 

Sadly, on Thursday, Twitter announced that it was going to discontinue Vine, and the app was going to fade away in the near future. Vine's website will be kept online, but that shouldn't be taken as any sort of good news; once the app goes away, so, too, does the chance to create new material.

As our form of tribute to what's become a social media staple, here are the 10 best Vines CSNMA has captured in the past few years. Feel free to play this song as you begin watching to truly enhance the somber mood. 

10) If every state had an official Vine, like they do flags and mottos and birds, this would be Pennsylvania's state Vine:

9) When you have a goal, you have to give 110 percent to accomplish that goal. You have to fight for it, sacrifice for it and do anything to complete it. It should be all that you think about, from the second you wake up in the morning to the moment you close your eyes at night.

But, if you get tired after a few seconds, it's OK to move on:

8) Most bosses would terminate you the instant you gave them a purple nurple. Jay Gruden isn't most bosses.

7) Vine became really relevant about four years ago and lived a bright and intense life, but it looks like it's going to disappear far too soon.

Sounds a lot like this former Redskins quarterback:

6) Stephen A. Smith would disagree with the inclusion of this Vine:

5) When the Running Man phenomenon swept the nation a few months ago, a lot of people did the dance really well. Then you have these two:

4) Is it too late to get Alex Ovechkin on the presidential ticket? 

3) It takes a special person to essentially turn Bryce Harper into a muscular medal rack:

2) It should be a law that anyone who wants to play hockey must first view this Vine before deciding whether to actually pursue the sport:

1) CSNMA's Vine account has roughly 65 million views. This clip, which is the living embodiment of the phrase, "Right place, right time," has 45 million of those views. Kirk Cousins is to CSNMA's Vine views what Justin Bieber is to YouTube's video views:

Farewell, old friend.


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No promise on playing, but Jordan Reed, Josh Norman traveling to London with Redskins

No promise on playing, but Jordan Reed, Josh Norman traveling to London with Redskins

LONDON - Working their way through the NFL concussion protocol, the Redskins announced Thursday that tight end Jordan Reed and cornerback Josh Norman will travel with the team to London.

Cleared to practice and cleared to play are two different things, but it's certainly a good sign that Reed and Norman can fly over the Atlantic with the team.

Arguably the team's best two players, Reed hasn't played since sustaining a concussion in the win against Baltimore, though the tight end finished that game. Norman also suffered a concussion, but it came last week against the Lions.

It's interesting that Reed's concussion forced him to miss two games, where Norman might be able to play this week without missing any games. Keep in mind Reed's extensive concussions history could be a factor. 

On the season, Reed has 33 catches for 316 yards and two touchdowns, all numbers that led the team when he was injured. Norman has one interception and one forced fumble on the season.

Both players would be big help for Washington, especially Norman. The Bengals prominently feature A.J. Green, perhaps the best receiver in the NFL. Jay Gruden made clear he'd like Norman to cover Green, and with Thursday's news, perhaps the $75 million man will do just that.

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes or press play below.