James Starks

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James Starks
refer to caption
Starks in 2011
No. 44 Green Bay Packers
Position: Running Back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1986-02-25) February 25, 1986 (age 30)
Place of birth: Niagara Falls, New York
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school: Niagara Falls (NY)
College: Buffalo
NFL draft: 2010 / Round: 6 / Pick: 193
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • Super Bowl Champion (XLV)
  • Packers' postseason record for rushing yards in a game by a rookie
  • Second Team All-MAC (2006,2007)
  • First-team All-MAC (2008)
  • SI Honorable Mention All-American (2008)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2015
Rushing yards: 2,361
Rushing average: 4.3
Rushing touchdowns: 9
Receptions: 106
Receiving yards: 883
Receiving touchdowns: 4
Player stats at NFL.com

James Darell Starks (born February 25, 1986) is an American football half back for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Packers in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He won Super Bowl XLV with the team over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played college football at the University at Buffalo.

High school career[edit]

James attended high school in Niagara Falls, New York, where he played football and ran track. In football, he ran for 1,048 yards and threw for over 600 yards for the Wolverines of Niagara Falls High School while earning All-Western New York honors in his senior season. He served as a captain for three years. In track & field, Starks was one of the states top performers in the long jump (PR of 7.00 meters), and also recorded an 11.14 100-meter dash time.[citation needed]

Considered only a two-star recruit by Rivals.com, Starks' only scholarship offer came from Buffalo, which he accepted.

College career[edit]

Starks enjoyed a standout career at Buffalo. He set a career rushing record with 3,140 yards, and scored 40 total touchdowns. He registered back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons as a sophomore and junior. He was one of the elite backs in the MAC and the nation and became the first 1,000-yard rusher in the Bulls’ Division I-A era. He also became the first UB freshman to earn All-MAC honors in 2006. He was named to the All-Mac Second Team as a freshman and sophomore, and was named to the All-Mac First Team as a junior. Starks did not play in his senior season due to a shoulder injury.[1] He is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.[2]

Professional career[edit]

Green Bay Packers[edit]

Starks lined up at running back for the Packers

Starks was drafted by the Packers in the sixth round—193rd overall—in the 2010 NFL Draft. He was injured during training camp and was placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list. After being activated off the PUP list on November 10, he made his NFL debut on December 5 against the San Francisco 49ers, with 18 carries for 73 yards. On January 9 in the 2011 Wild Card Playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Starks broke the Packers' rookie post-season record for rushing yards in a single game. His first touchdown came against the Chicago Bears in the NFC championship game. On the weekend before the Super Bowl, the Niagara Falls—in his hometown of Niagara Falls, New York—were lit green and gold in his honor. The following Monday, Starks met with Niagara Falls mayor Paul Dyster.[citation needed]

Starks's rookie season finished with a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV in which he rushed for 52 yards on 11 carries. He ended the postseason with the third-most rushing yards for a rookie running back in a single playoffs behind Timmy Smith in 1988 and Jamal Lewis in 2000.[3]

In the 2011 season, Starks led the Packers in rushing yards with 578. However, Starks utilized a physical style of play which exposed him to injuries. Starks missed three games with an ankle injury that year.[4]

In 2012, Starks was plagued by turf toe in September and a bone bruise in December.[4] By the end of the season, he managed only 71 carries in six games.[5]

Starks performed adequately in limited action during the 2013 season.[6] In a September 15, 2013 game against the Washington Redskins, Starks rushed for over 100 yards in a game for the first time in his career. His 115 yards on ten carries marked the first time a Packers player had topped 100 yards since Brandon Jackson in 2010.[7] In the following game, Starks exited with a knee injury and would miss the following three games.[8] Capitalizing on Starks' injuries, Packers rookie running back Eddie Lacy became the team's star running back.[6] Between various lower body injuries, Starks missed 29 games and played in only 35 in his first four seasons in the NFL.[4]

Prior to the 2014 season, Starks and the Packers agreed on a two-year contract worth $3.165 million with the expectation that he would be the backup to Eddie Lacy.[9] After missing so much time due to injury, Starks adjusted his style of play to be more conservative, evading tackles instead of absorbing or breaking them.[4] As a result, he played the first two full seasons of his career, managing to appear in all 32 games of his two-year contract.[4]

During the 2015 season, starter Eddie Lacy's playing time decreased due to issues with conditioning and his violations of the team's curfew. Lacy's diminished workload and Starks' continued health contributed to Starks receiving four starts during the season and registering career high totals in rushing yards, receiving yards and touchdowns.[4][10]

In March 2016, after visiting with the New England Patriots, Starks, an unrestricted free agent, agreed to a contract to return to the Packers.[10]

Career statistics[edit]

Source:[11]

Regular season[edit]

Season Team Games Rushing Receiving
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2010 Green Bay Packers 3 0 29 101 3.5 16 0 2 15 7.5 12 0
2011 Green Bay Packers 13 2 113 578 4.3 40 1 29 216 7.4 17 0
2012 Green Bay Packers 6 2 71 255 3.6 22 1 4 31 7.8 9 0
2013 Green Bay Packers 13 1 89 493 5.5 41 3 10 89 8.9 23 1
2014 Green Bay Packers 16 0 85 333 3.9 41 2 18 140 7.8 28 0
2015 Green Bay Packers 16 4 148 601 4.1 65 2 43 392 9.1 30 3
Total 67 9 555 2,361 4.3 65 9 106 883 8.3 30 4

Postseason[edit]

Season Team Games Rushing Receiving
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2010 Green Bay Packers 4 4 81 315 3.9 27 1 3 15 5.0 8 0
2011 Green Bay Packers 1 0 6 43 7.2 29 0 4 24 6.0 12 0
2013 Green Bay Packers 1 0 5 29 5.8 10 0 1 13 13.0 13 0
2014 Green Bay Packers 2 0 10 60 6.0 32 0 1 0 .0 0 0
2015 Green Bay Packers 2 0 19 76 4.0 22 1 6 16 2.7 6 0
Total 10 4 121 523 4.3 32 2 15 68 4.5 13 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4421472
  2. ^ Brand, J. David (March 17, 2015). "Catching up with Buffalo Bulls football great Justin Winters at St. Vincent Pallotti". Bull Run. SB Nation. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  3. ^ ""SUPER SEASON" KICKS OFF" (PDF). National Football League. January 7, 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Wood, Ryan (January 29, 2016). "James Starks 'being smarter,' staying healthy". packersnews.com. USA Today. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  5. ^ Silverstein, Tom (July 27, 2013). "James Starks resolves to stay healthy". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Morgan, Chris (January 7, 2014). "2013 Packers: Surmounting Injuries, Eddie Lacy's Bright Future". CBS New York. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Katzowitz, Josh (September 15, 2013). "James Starks has first 100-yard rushing day for Packers since 2010". CBS Sports. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  8. ^ Dunne, Tyler (June 20, 2014). "James Starks' No. 1 goal: Stay healthy this year". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  9. ^ McGinn, Bob (March 20, 2014). "James Starks' deal is worth $3.165 million". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Alper, Josh (March 18, 2016). "James Starks returns to Packers". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  11. ^ Statistics

External links[edit]