American Football Database
American Football Database
Marshawn Lynch
Lynch during the Seahawks' 2011 NFC Wild Card game against the New Orleans Saints.
No. 24     Seattle Seahawks
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1986-04-22) April 22, 1986 (age 35)
Place of birth: Oakland, California
High School: Oakland (CA) Technical
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) Weight: 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
College: California
NFL Draft: 2007 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
Debuted in 2007 for the Buffalo Bills
Career history
* Buffalo Bills ( 2007 2010)
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
* 3× Pro Bowl (2008, 2011, 2012)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2012
Rushing yards     6,132
Rushing average     4.1
Rushing TDs     46

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

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, wide receiver, and linebacker in high school.[4] Before high school, Lynch had originally played as an offensive guard.[5] 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 Leon Powe. Lynch would take his team to the state semi finals.

College career

Lynch attended the University of California, Berkeley, and played for the California Golden Bears football team. He majored in social welfare.

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.

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 enter the NFL draft.[11]

Career statistics

File:Marshawn Lynch Vegas.jpg

Lynch at the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl.

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

Professional 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.[2] 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.[18] 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

File:Marshawn Lynch vs NY Jets October 2009.jpg

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.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23]

Seattle Seahawks

2010 season

Lynch was traded to the Seahawks - for a fourth-round pick in 2011 and a fifth-round pick in 2012 - 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 against the New Orleans Saints, Lynch had a 67-yard touchdown run in which he broke nine tackles and with one arm threw Saints cornerback Tracy Porter to the ground.[24] 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.[25] 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 during the 2010 season.

2011 season

Lynch started 15 games, only missing one regular season game on November 23, 2011, due to back problems during warm ups. Lynch finished the 2011 season rushing for 1,204 yards and twelve touchdowns, both career bests and posting his first 1,000 yard season since 2008. On December 18, 2011, Lynch set the franchise record for consecutive games with a rushing touchdown by scoring in his 10th straight game. The previous record of nine was set by Shaun Alexander in 2005. Lynch led the NFL in rushing yardage over the final nine weeks of the season.[26] On January 24, 2012 Lynch was added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster to replace San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore.[26] On March,4 2011 Marshawn Lynch signed a 4 year $31 Million contract.

Season Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2011 Seattle Seahawks 15 15 28 212 7.6 26 1 285 1204 4.2 47 12 3 2
2012 Seattle Seahawks 16 16 23 196 8.5 27 1 315 1590 5.0 77 11 4 2


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 Cleveland Browns. 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 Applebee's, and his teammates joke that he loves chain restaurants.

Lynch frequently eats Skittles during games, a habit which started when Lynch was in high school. After Lynch was shown eating the candy during a nationally-televised game on December 5, 2011, Mars offered him a two-year supply of Skittles and a custom dispenser for his locker.[31] On December 30, 2011, he was fined $10,000 for wearing cleats featuring a Skittles pattern.[32][33]

Lynch also has an affinity for purchasing grills, saying he's been wearing the gold jewelry since junior high school. After the 2011 season, Lynch purchased a customized Seahawks grill in time for the 2012 season.[34]


  1. Cal Player Profile
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Giants clinch playoff berth, beat Bills". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2007-12-24.
  3. Marshawn Lynch CalBears Player Bio
  4. The Best of the West RBs - Part I
  5. Marshawn Lynch - Playtime
  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. "Lynch headed to Pro Bowl". Retrieved 2009-01-29.
  19. Roger Goodell Meets With Lynch ESPN, March 17, 2009
  20. Bills RB Lynch suspended for 3 games by NFL Associated Press, April 9, 2009
  21. "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.
  22. "Fred out 4-6 weeks". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  23. "Seahawks Acquire Marshawn Lynch in Trade with Bills". Seattle Seahawks. Retrieved 2010-10-05.
  24. (in English) Wild Card Can't-Miss Play: Lynch in "beast mode" (TV Clip). NFL. January 8, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  25. "Lynch's TD run shook area around Qwest Field". King5. January 10, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "" defined multiple times with different content
  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
  30. YouTube - Marshawn Lynch - The Mayne Event
  31. Marshawn Lynch beats Eagles, eats Skittles, gets endorsement
  32. "Roundup: Cardinals' Dockett fined $30K for tackles vs. Bengals". December 30, 2011.
  33. ESPN Sport Science - Does Marshawn Lynch's fuel to Beast Mode really is Skittles?
  34. "Video: Marshawn Lynch buys a Seahawks grill". March 6, 2012.

External links