The file on Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch was voted the 2003 San Francisco East Bay Player of the Year and a SuperPrep All-American as a senior at Oakland Technical High School, after he rushed for 2,097 yards in 10 games. Rivals.com had him as a four-star prospect, and the second best running back in America -- behind Adrian Peterson. He decided to stay at home and play for Cal Berkeley.
Welcome to Berkeley
Lynch saw limited time as a freshman, as he played behind incumbent starter J.J. Arrington. Even in a reserve role, Lynch was still named to the freshman All-American Second Team. He rushed for 628 yards on 17 carries, as the Golden Bears achieved a 10-2 record. His sophomore year, the Oakland native took over as starter and ended the season seventh nationally with an average of 124.6 rushing yards per game -- 1,246 yards total -- despite missing two games to injury.
Junior year to NFL Draft
After his junior year, Lynch was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-American. He topped the 100-yard rush mark on eight different occasions and finished his Cal career second all-time in rushing. He was drafted with the No. 12 overall pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 2007 NFL Draft, right behind Patrick Willis of the 49ers.
Buffalo Bills career
Slated as the starting running back for the Bills the moment his name was called in the draft, Lynch lived up to expectations, as he rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two years. Prior to the 2009 season, Lynch was suspended three games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. After sitting out the suspension he continued as the Bills starter until being replaced by Fred Jackson in Week 8.
Traded to Seattle/Beast Quake
After an injured ankle limited him to start the year, Marshawn Lynch was traded to the Seattle Seahawks after Week 4 for two draft picks. He finished the regular season with a combined 737 rush yards and six total touchdowns with the Seahawks and Bills. His first year will be remembered for his emphatic "Beast Quake" 67-yard touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the playoffs.
Beast Mode regained his excellent form with the Seahawks in 2011 and 2012 as he rushed for a combined 2,794 yards and 23 rushing touchdowns. In 2011, he was added to the Pro Bowl to replace Frank Gore and in 2012, on the heels of his 1,590 rush yards, he made the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career.
With expectations for the Seahawks high following their 11-5 2012 record, Seattle stuck with what it knew and rode Marshawn Lynch. The Cal alum led the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 12 and amassed 1,200 rush yards for the third consecutive year. He played extremely well against the 49ers in the two regular season and the NFC Championship matchup as he accumulated 279 rush yards with five total touchdowns.