Father of KSU-great Darren Sproles reflects on son's career

Published: Sep. 14, 2017 at 6:10 PM CDT
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The Chiefs' home opener Sunday will be a homecoming for a handful of Eagles players and coaches, including Philadelphia Head Coach and former Kansas City Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson.

But none will be more special than the homecoming of Darren Sproles, who grew up in Kansas.

He left his mark at Olathe North High School, when a young Darren Sproles rushed for more than 5,200 career yards, en route to a perfect 12-0 season and state championship.

Even those statistics weren't enough for colleges when considering his 5'6" frame.

"I knew he had to do a little bit better than the next guy. Which is bad to say but he has to do it just a little bit better," said his father Larry, a former college running back.

Larry and Darren look more like brothers than father and son, built almost identically. He understands the struggle of recruiting, but thought more than Kansas State would offer a scholarship.

"He was a High School All American. How can a High School All American not get recruited? And just passed him up because of his size?"

Those other teams, which included Kansas and Iowa, would learn to regret their decisions.

'Tank', as he was fondly called by his father, led the Wildcats to their first Big 12 Championship in 2003, and still holds the school's rushing record.

Now, as he enters his final season in the NFL, the 13-year-veteran returns home to the place where he always imagined playing--only not exactly how he imagined.

"When he was smaller, I used to take him to the games [at Arrowhead Stadium] and he always wanted to play for the Chiefs," Larry said. "This is his home and his hometown team. Now he's playing against them for the last time in his career. It's exciting."