Former USC recruit, exonerated convict, to tryout for Redskins

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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.

Redskins release eight players on first Monday following draft

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Redskins release eight players on first Monday following draft

In addition to releasing veteran cornerback Chris Culliver on Monday, the Redskins also released the following seven players:

— DL Christo Bilukidi

— LB Desmond Bishop

— WR LaRon Byrd

— DL Anthony Johnson

— DL Kamal Johnson

— CB Al Louis-Jean

— LB Derrick Mathews

None of the above players saw a snap for the Redskins last season.

ach was also a long shot to earn spots on Washington’s 2016 53-man roster and probably was displaced by a recent free agent addition and/or draft pick. 

Former Redskins DT Stubblefield charged with raping disabled woman

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Former Redskins DT Stubblefield charged with raping disabled woman

Dana Stubblefield, who played defensive tackle for the Redskins from 1998 until 2000, was charged on Monday in Santa Clara County, California for the rape of a disabled woman, according to Tim McInerny, the county's deputy district attorney.

Stubblefield, who joined the Redskins as a highly prized free agent prior to the 1998 season, is accused of an April 2015 incident in which he sexually assaulted a disabled woman he contacted through a through a babysitter website, acccording to the report

“This was a crime of violence against a vulnerable victim,” McInerny said. “She was looking for a job and she was unconscionably assaulted.”

The incident tookj place on April 9, 2015, when she interviewed with him for a job as a nanny at his Morgan Hill home, according to the report, she reported the alleged crime to the authorities immediately.

The details, as described by the San Jose Mercury News, are quite disturbing.

The interview lasted about 20 minutes, police said, then the woman left. Minutes later, she told police, she received a text message from Stubblefield saying he wanted to pay her for her time that day. She went back to the house where Stubblefield picked her up, carried her to a room and raped her, and forced her to "orally copulate him," the report said.

Stubblefield gave her $80 and let her go, the report said. The woman drove straight to the Morgan Hill Police Department, where she reported being assaulted by a man named "Dana."

Stubblefield, through his attorney called the accusations both "false" and "fraudulent," according to the report.

Stubblefield was selected by ther San Francisco 49ers with the No. 26 overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft out of Kansas and made it to three Pro Bowls before joining the Redskins.

His name was also mentioned on the list of clients of BALCO labrotories in 2008 in the same incident that revealed Marion Jones' use of performance-enhacing drugs. 

Bail for Stubblefield has been set at $25,000, and he faces five felony counts related to the assault, according to McInerny.

DeAngelo Hall on Josh Norman: 'I was all about trying to get him'

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DeAngelo Hall on Josh Norman: 'I was all about trying to get him'

The acquisiton of Josh Norman is a move that'll have far-reaching consequences across the Redskins franchise. The pass rush, for one, will benefit, as Norman should blanket opposing receivers for longer amounts of time and allow the big boys more opportunities to reach the quarterback. The offense should profit as well, as the corner will likely provide the unit shorter fields to work with as he generates some turnovers.

The transaction will also help individuals, too, like DeAngelo Hall. The 32-year-old, who will be lining up at safety in 2016 after experimenting with it near the end of last season, said as much during an appearance on 106.7 The Fan's Grant & Danny Show on Monday.

"To add a guy like Josh Norman, it's going to be amazing for us," Hall said, before adding that the All-Pro's presence will make his job much easier. "I was all about trying to get him."

As it turns out, the veteran played a minor but key role in recruiting Norman. Hall said team president Bruce Allen asked him about flying to Atlanta along with defensive coordinator Joe Barry and secondary coach Perry Fewell for the two sides' initial meeting, but Hall was already there — and had already been in touch with him.

"I had been texting Josh prior to that," he said. "I knew that they liked him... I couldn't wait to give him my spiel and my pitch."

The organization's strategy obviously worked, as Norman arrived to the team's facility a free agent and left it under contract. Now one of the premier members of the Burgundy and Gold, he'll be expected to contribute to Washington's overall progress.

In Hall's mind, that means not being satisfied with 2015's achievements. 

"We just got to keep raising the bar," he said. "We just want to follow that up with another stellar year. I definitely think we have the tools and the guys on this football team to be as good as we want to be."

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