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Sproles Heads to Philadelphia
Running back Darren Sproles (43) carries the ball as St. Louis Rams strong safety Darian Stewart (20) defends. (Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports)
March 15, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
On March 13, the New Orleans Saints traded former Kansas State running back Darren Sproles (2001-04) to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2014 draft pick.
An exciting trade for the Eagles, Sproles dynamic game will go well with the explosive offense of Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly, who expressed nothing but excitement when he learned he acquired the talented running back.
"Darren Sproles is an unbelievable offensive weapon," said Kelly, who just finished his first season with the Eagles, in an interview with ESPN. "He can do it all - run, catch - plus he's a proven winner. And on top of that, he can bring all of the dynamic skills to the return game as well. There is no question we were all excited once we found out we were going to be able to trade for him."
Though in 2011, Sproles first season with the Saints, he set an NFL record for all-purpose yards in a single season with his 2,696 yards, by 2013, his playing time considerably decreased. In 2013, Sproles recorded just 220 rushing yards to go along with his 604 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
A 2003 All-American and Wildcat legend, Sproles stamped his name in the Wildcat record book as he set 23 different school records in his four years with the program. He helped lead K-State to a 2003 Big 12 Championship title after leading the nation with 1,986 rushing yards. That same season, he earned fifth place in the Heisman voting and garnered a spot on the All-Big 12 first team.
Sproles finished his K-State career with a career 4,979 rushing yards - a school record by a whopping 1,986 yards - and 45 touchdowns. He started every game his junior and senior year, and, along with earning First Team All-Big 12 honors in 2003, he also earned All-Big 12 accolades in 2002 and 2004 where, both years, he was named to the conference's second team.
After his time at K-State, Sproles, a fourth round draft pick, headed west and began his NFL career with San Diego Chargers from 2005-10.
In his nine years in the NFL, Sproles has recorded 2,119 career rushing yards, has 339 receptions for 3,143 yards and has 41 touchdowns.
The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off of 10-6 season where they clinched the NFC East Division title before falling, 26-24, at home to none than Sproles and the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs.
After defeating the Eagles, Sproles played in his final game with the Saints as New Orleans lost, 23-15, to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.