Sproles: Super-star without an ego


Collegiate super-stars are supposed to have egos.
But not Darren Sproles.

Fans and writers keep track of all-time records.

But not Darren Sproles.

"That's Darren Sproles," said Kansas State running back coach Michael Smith. "He could care less about those things. I would bet that he hasn't picked up a media guide since he's been here. He's just one of those kids.

"He just wants to win," Smith said. "He's a kid that says, 'Ask me to do it and I will do it to the best of my abilities.'"

"I have no idea," Sproles said on his up-to-date yardage.

For the record, K-State's 5-foot-7, 188-pound junior dasher has rushed for 2,229 yards.

So Darren, that total -- 2,229 -- where does it rank in K-State history? No. 2? No. 12? No. 29?

"I don't know and I don't care," he politely answered.

So, none of those numbers ... those rankings ... mean anything to you?

"They mean nothing right now," Sproles said. "I just want to win. The only thing that matters to me is that we win."

This season, K-State has won four out of five games thanks, in part, to Sproles' heroics.

Sproles rushed for a career-high 175 yards in the opener against California, and then had a career-best 28 carries for 152 yards and three touchdowns against Massachusetts.

In the other games, the Olathe North product had 12 carries for 49 yards prior to being injured late in the second quarter against Troy State, and netted 101 yards on 14 carries while playing slightly more than half the game against McNeese State.

Smith, who called Sproles the best back to ever play at Kansas State, calls it "... a productive year."

In the most recent game, Sproles had only 14 touches for 77 yards in Saturday's 27-20 loss to Marshall. Of those, only one carry came in the fourth quarter, plus three other pass receptions for 43 yards.

One and all have second-guessed those one-game statistics, including Sproles, who said he even went to coach Bill Snyder early in the third quarter asking for the football.

The response?

"He just said, 'OK,' " Sproles said with a soft chuckle.

In a 24-game K-State career, Sproles has averaged 93 rushing yards per game.

Eliminating an injury-plagued freshman season, in just the 18 games of his sophomore and junior seasons, he has averaged 112 yards per game.

For his K-State career, Sproles has touched the football 392 times and gained 2,664 yards in rushes, catches and returns. That's 6.8 yards per touch.

Just for the record, Sproles, who doesn't know it, has also accomplished the following: - His 111 yard rushing average ranks third in the Big 12 Conference. - His 25 rushing touchdowns ranks only behind Josh Scobey (31), Ell Roberson (29), Jonathan Beasley (26) and Eric Hickson (26) in KSU history. - His 12 games of at least 100 rushing yards ranks No. 1. - His 2,229 rushing yards ranks third in KSU history only behind Hickson (2,537) and Mike Lawrence (2,265).

Oh, Darren ... did you also know you passed your backfield buddy Ell Roberson (2,094, 6th) on the all-time rushing chart? Did you give him a bad time about that?

"No," Sproles answered. "I didn't know I passed him."

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