Darren Lee Sproles was born in Waterloo, Iowa on June 20, 1983. A running back and return specialist for the Philadelphia Eagles, he has previously played for the San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints and was included in the San Diego Chargers 50th Anniversary Team in 2009. Sproles holds the NFL record for most all-purpose yards in a single season.
During his youth, Sproles attended Olathe North High School in Olathe, Kansas, where he enjoyed significant success on the football field. As a senior, he helped lead the Olathe North Eagles to the Kansas 6A State Title with a 12-0 record. Sproles scored a total of 49 touchdowns and was named as the USA Today Kansas Player of the Year, the Kansas Hall of Fame Player of the Year and won the 2000 Thomas A. Simone Award.
At college level, Sproles played for four years at Kansas State University, enjoying particular success in his junior year, when he led the school to its first ever Big-12 Conference Championship. Sproles' performances over the course of the season saw him finish 5th in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. He finished his college football career with the 6th highest total of all-purpose yards in the history of the NCAA.
The San Diego Chargers selected Sproles in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, as the 130th overall pick. After starting out as the third string running back in 2005, Sproles broke his ankle the following year and sat out the entire 2006 season. Over the course of subsequent years, he established himself in the team and set a new franchise record for most career kickoff return yards. During the 2008 postseason, Sproles made headlines for his performance against the Indianapolis Colts, when he finished with 328 all-purpose yards and scored the game-winning touchdown.
In 2011, Sproles signed with the New Orleans Saints and went on to register 2,696 all-purpose yards throughout the 2011 season, setting a new NFL record in the process. In addition, he became the first player to reach the 2,200 all-purpose yards mark in four different NFL seasons. In March 2014, the Philadelphia Eagles were able to acquire Sproles from the Saints in a trade, exchanging him for a 5th round draft pick.
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