Most National Football League players can be expected to be very good high school players. Marshawn Lynch, though, might have overdone it.
In 2003 in Oakland, Calif. Lynch ran for 1,722 yards and 23 touchdowns in eight games; he added 375 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in two postseason contests. He also played some defensive back, and made 20 interceptions. When Lynch played defensive end for a game, he forced three fumbles. Not bad at all.
From there it was on to the University of California. Lynch became a starter as a sophomore and became one of the best running backs in the Pacific-10 Conference in those two years. He set a school record for 100-yard games with 17.
The Bills needed a running back at that point, and Buffalo took Lynch in the first round. He gained 90 yards in his first game, a loss to Denver. He later became the fourth Bills' rookie to rush for more than 1,000 yards, and duplicated that number in 2008.
In 2009, Lynch was suspended for the first three games of the season, and lost his starting job to Fred Jackson. Lynch ran for only 450 yards that season, and then saw C.J. Spiller taken first by the Bills in 2010. Someone had to go from the Bills' backfield, and Lynch went to the Seahawks for two draft choices in an October 2010 trade.
Lynch ran for more than 1,200 yards in 2011, his first full season as a Seahawk. He added 13 touchdowns, another career high.
-- Budd Bailey
Sports Ink blog at buffalonews.com/blogs