Darren Sproles played as a running back for the Philadelphia Eagles. The talented player also had the position of a return specialist with the team. From the time he joined the league in 2005, Sproles exhibited so much strength and tenacity and is known for his outstanding skills. He was also notable during his college days, earning lots of recognition at the time. The famous footballer was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft and his career as a player came to an end in 2019. Nonetheless, he has remained relevant in the sport as he is now a football executive.
Sproles Started Making Exploits In Football from His High School Days
Born on June 20, 1983, in Waterloo, Iowa; Darren Sproles came into the world with a speech impediment that he continues to battle. However, this deficiency did not deter him from pursuing his career interest. Young Sproles started from his high school days to exhibit his forte for the game of football. Attending Oregon Trail Junior High, the aspiring player began to excel in the sport. He completed his high school education in Olathe North High School and was a notable player in the school’s football team.
He earned various recognitions including All-Metro honor, All-State selection, and All-Sunflower honor in the school. Sproles was also a two-time awardee of The Kansas City Star Player of the Year. At the end of his high school career, Darren Sproles proceeded to Kansas State University where he played college football.
In his second season with the school team, the youngster recorded 1,465 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. The following season saw him make impressive records for the team. The talented sportsman finished with an awesome 1,986 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns. Darren was the 11th on the all-time rushing yards list after his college years.
Getting Drafted By The San Diego Chargers
After his performance at the NFL Combine, Darren Sproles was selected by the San Diego Chargers with the 130th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. As a new intake, he started as the third-string running back that season. His 2006 season was greatly marred by an ankle injury as he was placed on injured reserve the entire year. Bouncing back in the 2007 season, the energetic player became the first footballer in history to return a kickoff and a punt for his first two touchdowns.
The exceptional player concluded his 2007 regular season with a total of 164 rushing yards in addition to a couple of rushing touchdowns and 10 receptions for 31 yards. His 2008 season with the San Diego Chargers was equally momentous as Darren Sproles made history as the second player in the National Football League with 50 receiving yards, 50 rushing yards, and 100 return yards in a single game; behind Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bulls.
His overall record for that season includes 330 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, 29 receptions for a total of 342 receiving yards, and 5 receiving touchdowns. Darren Sproles also recorded 53 kick returns for 1,376 net yards, a touchdown, and 22 punt returns for a total of 249 net yards.
For the 2009 seasons, Sproles’ overall score was also impressive, he finished with 343 rushing yards, 45 receptions, 3 rushing touchdowns, 497 receiving yards, as well as four receiving touchdowns. The player also recorded 54 kick returns for 1,300 net yards, 26 punt returns for 183 net yards, and a touchdown. Sproles’ time with the Chargers came to an end after the 2010 season. At the end of the season, he recorded 59 receptions for 520 yards and two touchdowns with 50 carries for a total of 267 rushing yards.
His Time With The New Orlean Saints
He joined the New Orlean Saints in July 2011 on a four-year $14 million contract. That season, he broke the NFL single-season record set in 2000 after he surpassed the 1000 all-purpose yards in his seventh game with the Saints. In his 2012 season, he finished with 75 catches for 667 yards, seven touchdowns, and 48 rushes for 244 yards.
Darren Sproles’ 2013 season saw him play in 15 regular-season games, he ran for 220 yards and pulled off a couple of touchdowns on 53 carries, making 71 catches for 604 yards. His time with the Saints came to an end after the 2013 season.
Joining The Philadelphia Eagle In 2014
Sproles joined the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014 in an exchange for a 2014 5th-round draft pick. In the 2016 season, he signed a one-year $4.5 million contract extension with the team. The contract was meant to elapse after the 2017 season but the Eagles re-signed the player in 2018.
He stayed with the team throughout the 2019 season following another one-year contract on July 19, 2019. However, the player suffered an injury and had to withdraw in week five. Darren Sproles made a comeback in week nine only to aggravate the injury which was more serious than was thought. This led to him being ruled out for the entire season and placed on injured reserve on November 15. The stellar player announced his retirement from the NFL after the 2019 season.
Though Sproles was only a 4th-round draft pick of the Chargers back in 2005, the exceptional footballer finished his career with more yards than everybody in the history of the NFL other than Brian Mitchell, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, and Walter Payton.
What He Does as a Football Executive
One would expect Darren Sproles’ career in the National Football League to wrap up with the end of the 2019 season which marked his retirement from active play. However, the former player has clinched the next best thing to field action; alongside his former teammate Brent Celek Sproles, he was hired as a personnel consultant in the football operations department of the Eagles.
Darren returned to the Eagles’ team in his new capacity on the 7th of February 2020. The team also made additional changes in other departments by introducing new hires which include Tom Hunkele as the Director of Sports Medicine, Jeremiah Washburn as Director of Player Personnel/Senior Defensive Assistant, Ted Rath as the Director of Sports Performance, and Connor Barwin as the team’s Special Assistant to the General Manager.
For fans who are still not clarified as to whether Darren Sproles still pitches his tent with the Eagles, the answer is a resounding yes, but the former running back is now employed in a different capacity. It may be too early to start counting his achievements as he is just a few months old in his new post, but the expectations are high.
Who Are The Members of His Family?
If you are one of those who are suspecting that Sproles’ stellar performance during his active years in the National Football League has something to do with his genes, you wouldn’t be so far from the truth.
The mesmerizing running back is the son of Larry Sproles who played football at MidAmerica Nazarene University as a running back. This lends credence to the saying that an apple does not fall far from the tree. Just like Darren, his dad is only 5 ft 5 inches (1.65 m) tall, but that did not stop him from doing exploits in the field of play.
On the other hand, much is not known about the former Philadelphia Eagle player’s mother. However, her identity has been revealed as Annette and she passed away years ago after battling cancer. Also, it is hard to tell anything about his siblings.
Darren Sproles Is Married To Michel Hunt
Darren Sproles may seem so busy and entangled with his career but he always makes time for his family and love life. He is married to his longtime girlfriend named Michel Hunt. The couple who had been together for so many years tied the knot in 2010.
Michel Hunt is a former professional track athlete. She no longer runs professionally but is a girls’ track coach. A breast cancer survivor, Mrs. Sproles underwent a double mastectomy and a reconstructive surgery before she was healed.
Together, they have two beautiful daughters; Devyn Annette Sproles and Rhyan Leigh Sproles. From what is perceivable, the former American footballer gives Michel enough credit for his career success. In his farewell speech, Sproles referred to the mother of his kids as his rock.