Tashard Choice

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Tashard Choice
Tashard Choice Bils20.jpg
Choice in September 2013 playing for the Buffalo Bills.
No. --  Free agent
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1984-11-20) November 20, 1984 (age 30)
Place of birth: Jonesboro, Georgia
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school: Hampton (GA) Lovejoy
College: Georgia Tech
NFL draft: 2008 / Round: 4 / Pick: 122
Career history
Roster status: Free Agent
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2014
Rushing attempts: 372
Rushing yards: 1,579
Rushing TDs: 10
Receptions: 81
Receiving yards: 574
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

Tashard J. Choice (born November 20, 1984[1]), is an American football running back who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Georgia Tech. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Choice began his collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma but transferred to Georgia Tech in 2005. Choice played high school football for Lovejoy High School, in Lovejoy, Georgia where he recorded for 40 career all-purpose touchdowns.[2] Choice graduated with a degree in History, Technology and Society in December 2007,[3] and earned All-Big 12 Academic Honor Roll in 2004 along with All-ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2005-2006.[4]

College career[edit]

Redshirt freshman (2003)[edit]

Choice redshirted in 2003. Kejuan Jones and Renaldo Works led the Oklahoma rushing attack into the BCS National Championship Game. Oklahoma featured Heisman Trophy winner Jason White quarterbacking the high-powered Sooner offense, which scored over 42 points per game.[5]

Freshman (2004)[edit]

In 2004, Choice served as a backup to true freshman Adrian Peterson. Peterson went on to be a Heisman Trophy finalist and Oklahoma found itself in the BCS title game once again. Choice only took 22 carries and gained 100 yards the entire year (all in two games). His best game at Oklahoma saw him garner 71 yards on 16 carries against Texas Tech. At the end of the season, his mother fell ill and Choice applied for a medical hardship to return home and play for Georgia Tech. His hardship was granted and he transferred to Tech by Spring 2005.[4]

Sophomore (2005)[edit]

In 2005, Choice arrived at Georgia Tech and found himself behind P. J. Daniels on the depth chart. Daniels and Choice combined for over 150 all-purpose yards per game and 11 total touchdowns.[6] Choice's most notable appearance occurred in the upset of then #3 Miami Hurricanes. P. J. Daniels was injured in practice so Choice was announced the starter for the game. He carried the football 29 times for 84 yards and a touchdown.[7] The victory guaranteed Tech a bowl appearance and solidified Choice's role as a competent starter for the 2006 season.

Junior (2006)[edit]

Choice (#22) scores against Maryland in 2006.

Choice led the Yellow Jacket rushing attack in 2006, becoming the first Yellow Jacket to rush for 1,000 yards since P. J. Daniels in 2003. Choice set several Tech records in 2006. He rushed for over 100 yards 9 times and had 7 straight 100 yard efforts, both Tech records. Choice accounted for 12 of Tech's 42 offensive touchdowns. Choice along with All-American Calvin Johnson and senior quarterback Reggie Ball took Tech to the Atlantic Coast Conference Title Game as the Coastal Division Champions. Choice would also lead Tech to its tenth straight bowl game against West Virginia in the 2007 Gator Bowl.[4] Choice sliced and diced his way through opponents in 2006 and worked his way towards becoming a preseason pick on several 2007 Heisman Trophy lists.[8][9]

Senior (2007)[edit]

Choice led the Yellow Jackets powerful ground game behind four returning starters on the offensive line and veteran fullback Mike Cox. As the reigning ACC Rushing Champion, Choice looked to improve upon 2006's 9-win season with new offensive coordinator John Bond featuring the single back formation.[10] Choice had 1,310 yards rushing on 249 attempts and 10 touchdowns even with injuries to his hamstring and to his knee. Choice concluded his NCAA career on the "Smurf Turf" of Boise against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the Humanitarian Bowl. He was used in a limited role in Georgia Tech's 40-28 defeat. His best statistical game was against the University of Miami, posting 204 yards rushing with a sore hamstring. he also recorded his first passing touchdown of his career to Taylor Bennett.[10]

Tashard Choice vs the Maryland Terrapins in 2007.

Awards and honors[edit]

The accolades Choice picked up during his college career include:

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Choice was selected in the fourth round (122nd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. His first career carry came in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns, where he had five attempts for 26 yards. He did not receive another carry until week 7 against the St. Louis Rams, after he replaced fellow rookie Felix Jones as the backup running back, who had suffered a torn hamstring against the Arizona Cardinals in week 6 and later a season ending torn ligament in his left toe during his recovery process.

He was used primarily on special teams until injuries to Marion Barber forced the team to play him against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who at the time had the best defense in the NFL.[17] Choice surprised by registering 23 carries for 88 yards, and five receptions for 78 yards.

This started a stretch of playing time against some of the league's best defenses. The following week against the New York Giants, he rushed 9 times for 91 yards, caught 4 passes for a team-high 52 receiving yards and scored his first career touchdown. On December 20 against the Baltimore Ravens, he rushed 17 times for 90 yards, caught seven passes for 25 yards and scored a touchdown.

He finished his rookie season as a player on the rise, based on his late-season starts where he recorded 472 rushing yards, 185 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.[18]

Choice began the 2009 season behind Marion Barber and Felix Jones on the depth chart, but injuries to both of those players gave him more playing time in week 3 against the Carolina Panthers, registering 18 carries for 82 yards, 4 catches for 36 yards and one touchdown in a win. On October 11 against the Kansas City Chiefs, he had 8 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown.

After the week 7 game against the Atlanta Falcons his workload was reduced when Barber and Jones returned. The rest of the year he was used mostly in what was called the Razorback formation, which was the team's variation of the Wildcat offense. He finished the season with 349 rushing yards, 132 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns.[18] Because he was seen as a starting-caliber player, the Cowboys received trade offers for Choice, but declined them all.[19]

In 2010, during the season opener he fumbled with four seconds left in the first half, which led to a Washington Redskins' touchdown as time expired that proved to be the difference in the game. Although the call was heavily criticized, after the incident he would not see much action during the team's second worst start in franchise history (one win in their first eight games), that eventually cost the job of head coach Wade Phillips. His special teams shortcomings were also being criticized during the losing streak. On December 5 against the Indianapolis Colts when the season was already lost, he rushed 19 times for 100 yards and a touchdown in a win.

In 2011, the Cowboys drafted DeMarco Murray which put Choice's roster sport in jeopardy, after injuries including a hamstring strain and a minor knee injury limited him to play in only one out of four preseason games. He began the regular season as the backup running back behind Felix Jones.[20] After Jones suffered a sprained ankle, he was named the starting running back in the week 7 game against the St. Louis Rams, but Murray had a performance for the ages, breaking several league and franchise rushing records.

Choice was waived on October 29, with the team deciding to give a bigger role to undrafted rookie Phillip Tanner. He finished his Cowboys career with 250 rushing attempts for 1,139 yards (4.6-yard average), 3 lost fumbles and 8 rushing touchdowns. His longest rushing play went for 66 yards. He also added 64 receptions for 497 yards (7.8-yard average) and no receiving touchdowns.[21]

Washington Redskins[edit]

On October 31, 2011, Choice was claimed off waivers by the Washington Redskins. He was released on November 22, after being deactivated in two contests with a hamstring injury and appearing in one game against his former team the Dallas Cowboys, in which he only gained 7 rushing yards.

Buffalo Bills[edit]

The Buffalo Bills claimed Choice off waivers on November 23, 2011, reuniting him with his former Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey. He replaced an injured Fred Jackson and was the backup to C.J. Spiller, playing in six games, while rushing for 70 yards and one touchdown.

He was signed as an unrestricted free agent on March 24, 2012. He re-signed with the Bills for a second time on March 29, 2013,[22] and was later released on December 4, with the team opting to give a bigger role to undrafted rookie Ronnie Wingo.[23]

Indianapolis Colts[edit]

The Indianapolis Colts signed him as a free agent on December 9, 2013, after placing Chris Rainey on the injured reserve list.[24] He was released on February 18, 2014.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Van Brimmer, Adam. - "OU Transfer Impressive for Jackets". - S Morning News - October 16, 2005.
  2. ^ "Clayton County's Who's Who". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  3. ^ Knobler, Mike. - "Humanitarian Bowl: Georgia Tech Vs. Fresno State". - Atlanta Journal-Constitution. - December 27, 2007
  4. ^ a b c "Tashard Choice Profile on RamblinWreck.com". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  5. ^ "2003 Oklahoma Sooners Cumulative Statistics". SoonerSports.com. University of Oklahoma Athletic Department. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  6. ^ "Georgia Tech 2005 Statistics". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  7. ^ "Georgia Tech 14, Miami 10". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  8. ^ "Rivals.com's RB Power Rankings". CNN. 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  9. ^ "Ridiculously Early Heisman Rankings". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  10. ^ a b "Balanced Offense Highlights Tech Spring Scrimmage". Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  11. ^ "Four Schools Dominate 2006 All-ACC Teams". 
  12. ^ "Heyer Named to ESPN.com All-Bowl Team". 
  13. ^ "2007 All-ACC Academic Football Team Announced". 
  14. ^ "2007 All-ACC Football Teams Announced". 
  15. ^ "B.C., Clemson load up on All-ACC teams". 
  16. ^ "SI.com's All-Americas". CNN. 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  17. ^ "Barber starts, but Choice finishes for Dallas Cowboys". 
  18. ^ a b http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/stats?playerId=11359
  19. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/news/story?id=5530171
  20. ^ Rainer Sabin (2011-09-06). "Cowboys RB Tashard Choice heeds Jason Garrett's message of competition: 'I'm never comfortable'". Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  21. ^ NFL.com (2011-11-03). "Tashard Choice NFL.com Profile". Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  22. ^ Murphy, John (March 29, 2013). "Choice says he re-signed with the Bills". BuffaloBills.com. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  23. ^ Bills release Tashard Choice
  24. ^ http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/12/09/colts-sign-tashard-choice/
  25. ^ http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/02/18/colts-release-tashard-choice-waive-jake-mcdonough/related/

External links[edit]