Childhood & Early Life
Marshawn Terrell Lynch was born on April 22, 1986, in Oakland, California, USA. He has three siblings. His mother Denise, who held a 200-meter track record at Oakland Technical High School, raised him alone. His father, Maurice Sapp, is serving a 24-year sentence for burglary, and had been convicted six times earlier, twice on serious charges.
He started playing football as a young boy. Lynch studied in Oakland Technical High School where he also participated in basketball, track, and wrestling matches in addition to football. In school, he was voted a PrepStar, SuperPrep All-American, and San Francisco East Bay Player of the Year. He led his school team to the state semi-finals in basketball. He was also good in track and field, and competed as a sprinter, and in jumping events.
He later attended the University of California, Berkeley. He majored in social welfare, and was nicknamed ‘Money’ in the university.
Marshawn Lynch started playing football in his Oakland high school, and played defensive back, linebacker, quarterback, and wide receiver. At his university, he played for the California Golden Bears football team. In 2004, he was the primary backup to his senior J. J. Arrington, but in 2005, when Arrington graduated, he became the running back. At the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl, Lynch ran for 194 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.
In 2006, he was named to the 2006 All-Pac-10 team First Team, where he won various awards. He was also named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year. He still holds the California school record for most 100-yard rushing games.
In April 2007, the Buffalo Bills selected him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. He signed a six-year contract worth $18.935 million. In his first season game in September, he gained 90 yards on 19 carries. In November, he helped the team win against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Then on 9 December 2007, he played against the Dolphins, rushing for 107 yards. He went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark on 23 December against the New York Giants. This game helped him to become the fourth rookie in Bills to break the 1,000-yard mark.
In November 2008, he once again broke 100 yards rushing in a game against the Cleveland Browns, when he rushed for 119. He also marked his first receiving touchdown. The same month, he achieved a season-high 134 rushing yards against the San Francisco 49ers. He went over the 1,000-yard mark in December in a rematch against the Jets when he rushed for 127 yards.
In 2009, Fred Jackson replaced him as Bills’ running back. Lynch finished the season with 450 yards on 120 carries with two rushing touchdowns.
In 2010, his off-field legal issues and low scores in the Bills’ running games led the team to send him to the Seattle Seahawks before the 2010 season. He scored his first touchdown of the season and a 1-yard run against the Chicago Bears. In December, he scored three touchdowns against the Carolina Panthers.
During his first season with Seattle, rushing for 573 yard over 12 games, he made up for his earlier struggles. The play cemented his playing style in NFL history, and his local fans referred to his moves as the ‘Beast Quake’.
In 2011, he played 15 games. He finished the 2011 season rushing for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns, his career’s bests, and posted his first 1,000-yard season since 2008. In January 2012, he was added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster.
In March 2012, he signed a four-year contract with the Seahawks for $31 million. He started all 16 regular season games and two playoff games for the Seahawks. He amassed 1,590 yards rushing on 315 attempts, and scored 11 touchdowns.
In 2013, he did quite well for the Seahawks, rushing for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was voted to the Pro Bowl for the third straight year, but had to decline it due to his participation in Super Bowl XLVIII, which his team won.
In 2014, he completed the first overtime drive by rushing for a touchdown, giving the Seahawks a 26–20 victory over Denver in a Super Bowl XLVIII rematch.
In the 2015 Super Bowl XLIX, he achieved 24 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown. The Seahawks lost the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots. In March 2015, Seahawks and Lynch agreed to sign two-year contract extension for $24 million.
On February 7, 2016, Lynch announced his retirement. He then became a mentor to the current football players in his alma mater in California.
In April 2017, Oakland Raiders lured Lynch to come out of his retirement. He agreed to a two-year contract. The Seahawks, who retained rights even after his retirement, traded him to the Oakland Raiders.
Marshawn Lynch has several relatives, including his uncle and cousins, who also played professional football.
He refers to himself as being in "beast mode" during games. Hence, his fans nicknamed his style as ‘Beast Quark’.
In June 2008, he was charged in a hit and run case and had his driver's license revoked. In 2009, he was arrested on firearm-possession charges and was suspended for three games. In 2012, he was arrested for driving erratically.
He is known for the community activities which he does through his Fam 1st Family Foundation. In 2013, he supported Red Bull's campaign "Athletes Give Back" and did a successful food drive for his hometown.
He has a habit of eating Skittles since his high school days, and does so frequently even while playing games.
He has a natural penchant for buying grills; he bought a customized Seahawks grill before the 2012 season.