A week after Jason LaCanfora tweeted the 49ers expressed interest in free agent linebacker Brian Banks, it looks like the former high school star will be coming in for a workout. Matt Barrows first reported it and Banks himself confirmed the workout via Twitter. Banks has already worked out for the Seahawks, Chiefs and Chargers. He also attended a separate minicamp with the Seahawks.
The 49ers will be conducting a rookie minicamp early in the coming week, which is likely where Banks will get a chance to show his skills. Banks was a top prospect in high school and had committed to USC before pleading no contest to rape and kidnapping charges. He has subsequently been exonerated after the "victim" admitted to lying about the crime. For those wondering why he plead guilty, his lawyer felt he was likely facing a conviction based on his size, age and race. Rather than face the 40+ years if convicted, he plead no contest and went to jail for six years. You can learn more about Banks in a short documentary.
Barrows indicated it was not known whether the 49ers would work Banks out as an outside linebacker or inside linebacker. Banks worked out as a middle linebacker in the Seahawks 4-3 defense, so one would imagine he would likely see time at inside linebacker in a 49ers workout. However, given that it's a basic tryout process, I wouldn't be surprised to see the 49ers work him out at both inside and outside linebacker.
Given that he has been out of football for a decade, Banks is likely looking at a practice squad spot wherever he lands. He has reportedly been working out non-stop for some time now, but he faces an uphill battle to earn a spot on any 53-man roster. For the 49ers, the inside linebacker positions currently include Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Larry Grant and Tavares Gooden expected to occupy 53-man roster spots. As Gooden will focus on special teams, there could be room for one more spot, particularly if a player can show some versatility.