Max Starks during the 2006 NFL season.
|No. 78 Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Date of birth:January 10, 1982|
|Place of birth: Orlando, Florida|
|High School: Lake Highland Preparatory School|
|Height: 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)||Weight: 345 lb (156 kg)|
|NFL Draft: 2004 / Round: 3 / Pick: 75|
|Debuted in 2004 for the Pittsburgh Steelers|
|* Pittsburgh Steelers ( 2004–present)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|* SEC Championship (2000)|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2012|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
|Stats at DatabaseFootball.com|
Maximillian Weisner Starks, IV (born January 10, 1982) is an American football offensive tackle currently plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Florida. He was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft.
Starks was born in Orlando, Florida. He attended Orlando Christian School for sixth to eighth graders, where he played basketball and volleyball for the OCS Knights. As an eighth grader he wore size 15 shoes—when he had a difficult time finding shoes that fit he borrowed shoes from NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, who played at the time for the Orlando Magic For high school, Starks attended Lake Highland Preparatory School, a private prep school in Orlando, where he is the only high school football player in the history of the Highlanders to become a pro athlete. He was one of the state's top offensive linemen in 1999, and was named to Super Prep's, National Bluechips and Prep Star's high school All-America teams, and a USA Today honorable mention All-American. He was a two-time all-conference selection in basketball.
Starks received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Steve Spurrier and coach Ron Zook's Florida Gators football teams from 2000 to 2003. During his time as a Gator, he won a Southeastern Conference (SEC) championship ring (2000) and blocked for record-setting Gators quarterbacks Rex Grossman (2000–2002) and Chris Leak (2003). As a senior, Starks was a team captain and first-team All-SEC selection.
Starks is among the largest NFL players, standing at 6'8" and 370 pounds with a size 19 shoe. Four other relatives of Starks have been professional football players. He was drafted in 2004, round three, pick 12, by the Steelers. He became a starter for the first time in the 2005 season for the eventual Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Playing right tackle, he blocks for fellow Steelers such as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and running back Rashard Mendenhall.
Entering the 2007 season, Starks lost his starting job to Willie Colon; however, he played in all 16 games. He also started 4 games at the end of the season at left tackle in place of the injured Marvel Smith. On February 21, 2008, the Pittsburgh Steelers placed the transition tag on Starks. He signed his one-year, $6.85-million tender offer on April 19. He signed another one-year contract with the Steelers following their victory in Super Bowl XLIII.
On June 23, 2009, the Steelers signed Starks to a new four-year, $26.3 million contract. The deal includes $10 million in guarantees.
He was released by the Steelers on July 28, 2011., but was later re-signed by the Steelers on October 5, 2011. He is currently working on the rehabilitation of a knee injury, and had said publicly that he hopes to return to the Steelers for the 2012 season. He later announced on his Twitter he re-signed with the Steelers for the 2012-13 season.
Starks is the son of former professional defensive lineman Ross Browner. Ross Browner, who was a first-round selection in the 1978 NFL Draft by Cincinnati and started 36 of 43 games during his career. Browner was a two-time (1976, 1977) All-American defensive lineman at Notre Dame and won the Lombardi and Maxwell Awards. Presuming he was the biological son of Max Starks, III, he did not discover the identity of his actual biological father until he was in high school. In high school, Starks, whose family was involved in the funeral business, was known to drive a hearse to school.
The Browner family as a whole has had more players in the NFL than any other family. Ross' brothers Joey Browner, Jimmy Browner, and Keith Browner all played in the NFL. Starks's cousin, Keith Browner Jr., plays college football linebacker for the University of California.
In 2006, he traveled with Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bryce Fisher and Atlanta Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney on the USO Tour, traveling to United States military bases, a tradition begun by such NFL greats as Frank Gifford and Johnny Unitas. In 2005 Starks visited the USS Theodore Roosevelt at sea, along with members of the Cincinnati Bengals coaching staff. In addition, he was heavily involved in the local community in college, including serving as a tutor in Gainesville, Florida while enrolled in school at the University of Florida, and working with Kids Against Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco.
In college Starks became involved with the charity Cents of Relief which works to prevent human trafficking and allow access to healthcare for vulnerable populations, particularly women of prostitution and their children. He currently serves on the charity's Board of Directors.
- Florida Gators
- List of Florida Gators football players
- List of Pittsburgh Steelers players
- List of University of Florida alumni
- Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Max Starks. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
- Haugh, David (January 31, 2009). "Pittsburgh Steelers' Max Starks bonds with father Ross Browner". Chicago Tribune. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-01-31/sports/0901300527_1_elleanor-ross-browner-max-starks-iii. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- databaseFootball.com, Players, Max Starks. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
- GatorZone.com, Football History, 2003 Roster, Max Starks. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
- 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 97, 125, 185 (2011). Retrieved August 28, 2011.
- Official site of the Pittsburgh Steelers - Roster
- Steelers Retain Essex Yahoo Sports, March 17, 2009
- Source: Starks get $26.3M contract ESPN, June 23, 2009
- "Steelers release Starks, Randle El". Sacramento Bee. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/07/28/3800887/steelers-release-starks-randle.html. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
- ESPN - Steelers' Starks grew up not knowing of ties to famous NFL family - NFL
- Hines, Raymond (August 4, 2003). "Exclusive Interview: Max Starks the Gentle Giant". Gator Insider. http://www.ufinsiders.com/members/article.php?sid=1774. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- "Mission". Cents of Relief (official site). http://www.centsofrelief.org/about-mission.shtml. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
- "Board of Directors". Cents of Relief (official site). http://www.centsofrelief.org/about-bod.shtml. Retrieved May 2, 2011.