TODAY | April 06, 2013
>>> for more than five years, brian banks wore a prison uniform for a crime he said he did not commit.
>> this is an unbelievable story. quite a run now for banks, with a second chance at making his childhood dream come true . for brian banks , these are images of resilience and redemption.
>> i am officially an atlanta falcon, to be able to relive the dream i once had, to be able to think about it, breathe it, live it, it's something i don't want to take for granted.
>> reporter: this week, nearly a year after being exonerated for a crime in which he spent five years behind bars .
>> we dismiss this case.
>> reporter: he signed a contract with the atlanta falcons , fulfilling a dream that for much of his adult life seemed out of reach.
>> even though we were hopeful that my case would be overturned and i would be exonerated i was still living a day-to-day life of a sex offender , convicted and parolee.
>> reporter: banks says he took the advice of his attorney and pleaded no contest, leaving behind a scholarship to play football at the university of southern california . after serving his sentence, his accuser contacted him on facebook and in a secretly taped meeting with a private investigator, who is a friend of banks, she confessed to the tru truth.
>> did he rape you?
>> no, he did not rape me.
>> that confession set him free and for every minute since, trained with nfl teams to get bas back his speed and stamina.
>> the newest linebacker for the atlanta falcons .
>> reporter: and today, a new start for a man who went into prison a boy.
>> nfl is just the beginning of my start. you're going to see a man of determination, of willpower. just someone who is going to work hard to be the best that they can.
>> it's a great story. later this month banks begin off-season workouts with the falcons and has become a spokesperson with the innocence project , who works to release the wrongly accused. now here's lester.
>> erica, thanks.