Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch

Lynch at the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl
No. 24     Seattle Seahawks
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: April 22, 1986 (1986-04-22) (age 25)
Place of birth: Oakland, California
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
College: California
NFL Draft: 2007 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
Debuted in 2007 for the Buffalo Bills
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2010
Rushing yards     3,933
Rushing average     3.9
Rushing TDs     29
Stats at

Marshawn Terrell Lynch (born April 22, 1986) is an American football running back for the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the first round (12th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. In his rookie year, Lynch became the Bills' first 1,000-yard rookie rusher since Greg Bell in 1984.[1] He finished the season with 1,115 total rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Lynch played collegiately at California, where he was the school's second all-time career rusher with 3,230 yards.[2]


Early years

Lynch attended Oakland Technical High School. In his 2003 season, Lynch amassed 1,722 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in only eight regular season games, and an additional 375 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in two postseason games. He was voted a PrepStar and SuperPrep All-American and was also voted as the San Francisco East Bay Player of the Year.[3]

Lynch experimented with other positions in high school. He played defensive back and accumulated 20 interceptions his senior year. His coaches put him at defensive end for one game, and he forced three fumbles. Lynch also played some quarterback and wide receiver in high school.[4] had him ranked #1 in the nation as a defensive back, but he decided to stick to his passion at running back. Lynch ended his high school career as the second-ranked running back in the nation in 2004 behind Adrian Peterson by

In addition to being a star football player, Lynch was also an excellent track sprinter and played on Oakland Tech's basketball team alongside former Cal star and current Memphis Grizzlies forward Leon Powe.

College career

Lynch attended University of California, Berkeley playing for the Golden Bears where his major was social welfare. In an online video posted in February 2008,[5] Lynch implies he maintained a 3.2 GPA during his time at Cal.

As a true freshman in 2004, Lynch was the primary backup to senior J.J. Arrington. Lynch carried the ball 71 times for 628 yards with 8 rushing touchdowns and an additional 147 yards on 19 receptions and 2 receiving touchdowns.

In 2005, Arrington graduated and Lynch became the starting running back. Even though he missed two games due to a hand and finger injury, he still amassed 1,246 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns on 196 carries and an additional 125 yards on 15 receptions. In the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl, Lynch ran for 194 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries and was named MVP. In addition to his great running ability, he also has a tight grip on the ball, fumbling just once in his career.

Lynch wore jersey No. 24 his freshman year but switched to No. 10, his high school number. This switch placed him in sequence with his cousins Virdell Larkins (No. 9) and Robert Jordan (No. 11), also teammates at Cal.[6]

In the 2006 preseason, Lynch earned a spot on the watchlist for the Maxwell Award, was named 8th best player in the nation by Sports Illustrated and earned several preseason All-American accolades.

On July 22, 2006, the Cal football program officially launched the campaign for Lynch to win the 2006 Heisman Trophy with the opening of the website, featuring Lynch's highlights from the 2004, 2005, and 2006 seasons.[7] Lynch was named to the 2006 All Pac-10 team First Team.[8] Lynch not only earned various awards, he also scored the game-winning overtime touchdown against Washington. He later called the run his favorite career highlight, after which Lynch spontaneously drove around the football field in an injury cart, pretending to ghost ride.[9]

Lynch was also named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 2006 and an AFCA (Coaches') All-America in 2006.

In his final game for California, Lynch ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns against Texas A&M in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl on December 28, 2006. He shared the Co-Offensive Player of the Game award with teammate, quarterback Nate Longshore.

Lynch had a highly successful career at Cal and holds the school record for most 100-yard rushing games at 17.[10]

On January 2, 2007, Lynch announced he would forgo his senior season and entered the NFL draft.[11]

Career statistics

Statistics up to date as of December 28, 2006. College statistics from[12][13] and[14]


Year Team Games-Games Started Carries Yards Average Long TDs
2004 Cal 12-0 71 628 8.8 70 8
2005 Cal 10-9 196 1,246 6.4 52 10
2006 Cal 13-11 223 1,356 6.1 71 11
Totals 35-20 490 3,230 6.6 71 29


Year Team Games-Games Started Receptions Yards Average Long TDs
2004 Cal 12-0 19 147 7.7 29 2
2005 Cal 10-9 15 125 8.3 25 0
2006 Cal 13-11 34 328 9.6 28 4
Totals 35-20 68 600 8.8 29 6

Kick returns

Year Team Games-Games Started Returns Yards Average Long TDs
2004 Cal 12-0 15 372 24.8 69 0
2005 Cal 10-9 13 271 20.8 34 0
2006 Cal 13-11 5 101 20.2 27 0
Totals 35-20 33 744 22.5 69 0

NFL career

2007 NFL Draft

On April 28, 2007, Lynch was selected by the Buffalo Bills with the 12th overall pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He agreed with the Bills to a six-year, $18.935 million contract. The deal included a $3 million signing bonus and contained $10.285 million in total guarantees.

Pre-draft measureables
Wt 40y 20ss 3-cone Vert BP Wonderlic
215 lb* 4.46s* 4.58s* 7.09s* 35.5 in* 20*[15] 14*

(* represents NFL Combine)

Buffalo Bills

2007 season

Lynch entered the 2007 season as the starter at running back for the Buffalo Bills. In his first game of the regular season on September 9, he gained 90 yards on 19 carries and scored his first touchdown in a 15–14 loss to the Denver Broncos. His breakout game came on November 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Lynch's success on the ground was instrumental in keeping the touted Cincinnati offense on the sidelines, as he rushed 29 times for 153 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown run. Lynch also completed a touchdown pass to tight end Robert Royal, the first touchdown pass completed by a Bills non-quarterback since 1981.[16]

Lynch injured his ankle the following week against the Miami Dolphins and missed the next three games. He returned to play on December 9 for the second game of the Bills' season against the Dolphins, rushing for 107 yards and making his first career fumble. The game marked the first time that the Bills' offense produced two 100-yard rushers since 1996, as Fred Jackson also rushed for 115 yards.[17] Lynch went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark on December 23 against the New York Giants, scoring a touchdown in the 38–21 loss which resulted in the Giants clinching a playoff berth. This made him the fourth Bills rookie to break the 1,000-yard mark, and the first since Greg Bell in 1984.[18] He finished a successful rookie season with 1,115 total rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Lynch was expected to be more involved in Buffalo's passing game in 2008, his second season as a pro. The Bills' new offensive coordinator Turk Schonert had stated a number of times that he anticipated Lynch "being in on third down a lot more" this season, citing Lynch's inexperience as a reason he was not very involved in 2007.

2008 season

Lynch was held to a 2008 low of 16 yards rushing in a matchup against the New York Jets on November 2. He did not break 100 yards rushing in a game until November 17 on a Monday Night Football matchup against the Cleveland Browns, when he rushed for 119. The game also marked his first receiving touchdown. Two weeks later Lynch posted a season high 134 rushing yards against the San Francisco 49ers on November 30. Lynch went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season on December 14 in a rematch against the Jets when he rushed for 127 yards. He was able to stay healthy until injuring his shoulder in the second half of a Bills victory on December 21 against the Denver Broncos, during which he rushed for his eighth touchdown of the season. The injury kept him out of the Bills' final game of the season against the New England Patriots. Lynch finished the 2008 season with 1,036 yards rushing and eight rushing touchdowns. He posted 300 receiving yards on 47 receptions, including a receiving touchdown, compared to 184 yards on 18 receptions for the 2007 season. Lynch was selected to his first Pro Bowl, replacing an injured Chris Johnson.[19] This made him the first Bills running back to head to the Pro Bowl since Travis Henry in 2002. Lynch was initially a first alternate.

2009 season

Lynch carries the ball against the New York Jets in October 2009.

Following his guilty plea on misdemeanor weapons charges during the 2009 offseason, Lynch met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for a disciplinary hearing.[20] On April 9, the NFL announced that Lynch would be suspended for the Bills' first three games for violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy.[21] Lynch appealed the league's suspension on May 14 in an attempt to have it reduced or nullified, only to have it upheld by Goodell later on August 3. When interviewed on the topic, Lynch has said that he was not surprised when the suspension was upheld, and that he loves playing too much and will try to keep himself out of situations in which there is a risk of being suspended.[22]

Lynch played his first game of the 2009 season against the Miami Dolphins and played the rest of the season. Beginning November 29, he was supplanted as the Bills' starting running back by Fred Jackson, who had the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his career. Lynch finished the season with 450 yards on 120 carries with two rushing touchdowns and did not break 100 rushing yards in a single game.

2010 season

Lynch suffered an ankle sprain in the Bills' preseason opening game against the Washington Redskins and was expected to be out for three to four weeks.[23] He started three games for the Bills before being traded to the Seattle Seahawks on October 5 for two draft picks, a fourth-rounder in 2011 and a conditional pick in 2012.[24]

Seattle Seahawks

Lynch was traded to the Seahawks on October 5, reuniting him with former Cal roommate and fellow running back Justin Forsett, a seventh-round draft pick of the Seahawks in 2008.

Lynch scored his first touchdown of the season on October 17 on a one-yard run against the Chicago Bears. On December 5, he scored three touchdowns against the Carolina Panthers.

In his first career playoff game on January 8, 2011, Lynch had a 67-yard touchdown run in which he broke eight tackles and threw Saints cornerback Tracy Porter to the ground with a stiff arm.[25] The home field crowd's reaction to the run was so strong that it was recorded as seismic activity at a monitoring station 100 yards from the stadium.[26] The fourth-quarter run proved to be the game winner, as three minutes later the game ended with the Seahawks defeating the Saints, 41–36, capping one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history.

Lynch had a total of 747 yards in the 2010-2011 season. He has a total of 1,015 yards (including playoffs and preseason) with the Seattle Seahawks.


Lynch has several relatives who have also played professional football. His cousins are wide receiver Robert Jordan, who played alongside Lynch at Cal from 2004–2006, former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell, and quarterback Josh Johnson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Lynch's uncle, Lorenzo Lynch, had an 11-year career in the NFL.[27]

Lynch was nicknamed "Money" in college.[28] Additionally, he has referred to himself as being in "beast mode" during games.[29]

While in Buffalo, Lynch embraced the Buffalo community, in stark contrast to former Bills RB Willis McGahee, as noted by an interview with ESPN's Kenny Mayne.[30] In the video interview, which has become an internet sensation, Lynch talks about his love of Applebees, and his teammates joke that he loves chain restaurants.

Legal issues

On June 14, 2006, Lynch was the victim of mistaken identity when unknown assailants shot at his car outside his high school alma mater as he was about to visit his little sister on her graduation day. He was not the intended target of the shooting, and no one was injured. The shooter phoned Lynch's mother to apologize.[31]

On January 25, 2007, Lynch was accused of sexual assault by his former girlfriend. The incident reportedly happened on December 13, 2006, outside the woman's home in Emeryville, California. On January 29, 2007, an Alameda County Deputy District Attorney who specializes in domestic violence cases declined to press charges, citing a lack of evidence and "grave inconsistencies" in the alleged victim's accusations.[32] Lynch was never arrested or charged.

On March 3, 2007, an Alameda County judge threw out a restraining order that Lynch's ex-girlfriend had issued against him because it was obtained improperly.[33]

During June 2008, Lynch was investigated for his involvement in a hit and run accident that occurred in Buffalo on May 31, 2008. His 2008 Porsche Cayenne struck and injured Kimberley Shpeley, of Ontario, Canada, before leaving the scene. It should be noted that Shpeley was extremely intoxicated, and dancing in the middle of the street.[34][35] After the 27-day saga, on June 26, 2008, Lynch apologized and accepted a guilty plea to a single count of failure to exercise due care to avoid striking a pedestrian, a traffic violation. He was assessed a $100 fine, and his driver’s license and car registration were revoked. Because a Buffalo police officer gave testimony that Shpeley did not suffer "severe physical injury," Lynch avoided criminal charges for the incident.[36] Lynch was later sued by Shpeley on December 28, 2009 for negligence.[37]

Three days after his 2009 Pro Bowl appearance, Lynch was arrested on February 11 in Culver City, California. Lynch and two companions were sitting in a running 2006 Mercedes-Benz when police approached; after smelling marijuana, the police searched the car and discovered a loaded gun that was determined to belong to Lynch. He was released the same day after posting $35,000 bail.[38] Lynch's felony charge was reduced to three misdemeanors, and no drug charges were filed.[39] On March 5, Lynch pled guilty to a single misdemeanor gun charge and was sentenced to three years of probation, and 80 hours of community service. He also agreed to submit to police searches at any time. The two other misdemeanor gun charges were dismissed.[40]

Lynch was accused of stealing $20 from the wife of a Buffalo police officer in a local TGI Friday's on December 7, 2009. A complaint was filed against him the next day.[41]


  1. ^ "Giants clinch playoff berth, beat Bills". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  2. ^ Cal Player Profile
  3. ^ Marshawn Lynch CalBears Player Bio
  4. ^ The Best of the West RBs - Part I
  5. ^ Marshawn Lynch: Always Spell Check
  6. ^ ESPN - Talented Lynch takes over starting role for Bears - College Football
  7. ^ Cal Launches Website for Marshawn Lynch :: Heisman candidate is featured on
  8. ^ The awards are voted on by Pac-10 coaches. 2006 All Pac-10 team,, November 27, 2006.
  9. ^ Marshawn Lynch Tippin' his Whip
  10. ^ Cal School Records (note closeness of Lynch's stats to other school records)
  11. ^ Bear bids farewell Cal's Marshawn Lynch declares for NFL draft
  12. ^ "Marshawn Lynch". Retrieved 2006-09-24. 
  13. ^ "Player Bio Marshawn Lynch". Retrieved 2006-09-24. 
  14. ^ "#10 Marshawn Lynch RB". Retrieved 2006-09-24. 
  15. ^ *Marshawn Lynch, RB, California - 2007 NFL Draft Scout Profile, Powered by The SportsXchange
  16. ^ "Buffalo 33, Cincinnati 21". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  17. ^ "Inept Dolphins lose 13th straight, trounced by Bills 38-17". Yahoo!.;_ylt=Ag19Prq.mvQzhk3EQ_j8Por.uLYF?gid=20071209002&prov=ap. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  18. ^ "Giants clinch playoff berth, beat Bills". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  19. ^ "Lynch headed to Pro Bowl". Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  20. ^ Roger Goodell Meets With Lynch ESPN, March 17, 2009
  21. ^ Bills RB Lynch suspended for 3 games by NFL Associated Press, April 9, 2009
  22. ^ "Bills RB Lynch appeals NFL’s 3-game suspension". Yahoo Sports!.;_ylt=ArMODKPrsC3jue6qb1BRijtDubYF?slug=ap-bills-lynchsuspended&prov=ap&type=lgns. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  23. ^ "Fred out 4-6 weeks". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  24. ^ "Seahawks Acquire Marshawn Lynch in Trade with Bills". Seattle Seahawks. Retrieved 2010-10-05. 
  25. ^ (in English) Wild Card Can't-Miss Play: Lynch in "beast mode" (TV Clip). NFL. January 8, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Lynch's TD run shook area around Qwest Field". Google. January 10, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  27. ^ CAL’S MARSHAWN LYNCH HAVING A FUN RUN Celebrated running back won't buy into the hype
  28. ^ Reluctant Poster Boy Cal Tailback Marshawn Lynch Has Honors, Gaudy Stats and a Dynamic Style of Play That Makes Him Primed for the Spotlight—Only He Doesn’t Seem to Want It
  29. ^
  30. ^ YouTube - Marshawn Lynch - The Mayne Event
  31. ^ Drive-By Changes Graduation Plans At Oakland School
  32. ^ No charges against Cal football star Marshawn Lynch
  33. ^ Ex-Girlfriend’s Restraining Order Against Lynch Revoked
  34. ^ "Police investigate hit-and-run accident involving vehicle owned by Bills running back Marshawn Lynch". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2008-06-09. [dead link]
  35. ^ "D.A. turns attention to passengers in Lynch’s SUV". Yahoo!.;_ylt=AjCBH8YTsaVcpebLuic_SZX.uLYF?slug=ap-bills-lynchaccident&prov=ap&type=lgns. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  36. ^ The Marshawn Lynch saga finally ends, with an apology and a fine
  37. ^ "Marshawn Lynch sued over hit-run". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  38. ^ Pro Bowl RB Lynch arrested on felony weapons charge in SoCal, Associated Press, February 15, 2009
  39. ^ "Charges against Lynch reduced". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  40. ^ "Bills’ Marshawn Lynch pleads guilty to gun charge". Yahoo! Sports.;_ylt=AoWkT28dntuG0RP_jRT241RDubYF?slug=ap-bills-lyncharrested&prov=ap&type=lgns. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  41. ^ "Marshawn Lynch accused of stealing $20". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
J.J. Arrington
Cal Starting Running Back
Succeeded by
Justin Forsett
Preceded by
Willis McGahee
Buffalo Bills Starting Running Back
Succeeded by
Fred Jackson