Choice in 2013 playing for the Buffalo Bills.
|Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets|
|Position:||Running backs coach|
|Born:||November 20, 1984|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||210 lb (95 kg)|
|High school:||Lovejoy (Hampton, Georgia)|
|NFL Draft:||2008 / Round: 4 / Pick: 122|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Tashard J. Choice (born November 20, 1984) is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills and the Indianapolis Colts. He played college football at Georgia Tech. Choice is currently the running backs coach at Georgia Tech.
Choice began his collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma but transferred to Georgia Tech in 2005. Choice played high school football for Lovejoy High School, in Lovejoy, Georgia where he recorded 40 career all-purpose touchdowns. Choice graduated with a degree in History, Technology and Society in December 2007, and earned All-Big 12 Academic Honor Roll in 2004 along with All-ACC Academic Honor Roll in 2005-2006. He signed a two-year, $6 million deal with the Cowboys.
- 1 Early years
- 2 College career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 Personal life
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Choice attended Lovejoy High School where he played running back. As a senior, he registered 129 carries for 1,200 rushing yards, 600 receiving yards, 15 rushing touchdowns and 2 receiving touchdowns. He dislocated his right shoulder in a November contest, but did not miss any games. He received All-Southern Crescent, All-state and the Daily's Southern Crescent Offensive Player of the Year honors. The school retired his No. 2 jersey in 2007.
Redshirt freshman (2003)
Choice redshirted in 2003. Kejuan Jones and Renaldo Works led the Oklahoma rushing attack into the BCS National Championship Game. Oklahoma featured Heisman Trophy winner Jason White quarterbacking the high-powered Sooner offense, which scored over 42 points per game.
In 2004, he was named the Sooners' starting running back out of spring practice, but a left hamstring pull sidelined him and allowed true freshman Adrian Peterson to move ahead of him on the depth chart in the fall. It also forced him to miss the first three games.
Peterson went on to be a Heisman Trophy finalist and Oklahoma reached the BCS title game once again. Choice only took 23 carries and gained 100 yards the entire year (all in two games). His best game at Oklahoma saw him garner 71 yards on 16 carries against Texas Tech. At the end of the season, his mother fell ill and Choice applied for a medical hardship to return home and play for Georgia Tech. His hardship was granted and he transferred to Tech by spring 2005.
In 2005, Choice arrived at Georgia Tech and found himself behind P. J. Daniels on the depth chart. They combined for over 150 all-purpose yards per game and 11 total touchdowns. Choice's most notable appearance occurred in the upset of then #3 Miami Hurricanes. Daniels was injured in practice so Choice was announced the starter for the game. He carried the football 29 times for 84 yards and a touchdown. The victory guaranteed Tech a bowl appearance and solidified Choice's role as a competent starter for the 2006 season.
Choice led the Yellow Jacket rushing attack in 2006, becoming the first Yellow Jacket to rush for 1,000 yards since Daniels in 2003. Choice set several Tech records in 2006. He rushed for over 100 yards 9 times and had 7 straight 100 yard efforts, both Tech records.
He accounted for 12 of Tech's 42 offensive touchdowns. Choice along with All-American Calvin Johnson and senior quarterback Reggie Ball took Tech to the Atlantic Coast Conference Title Game as the Coastal Division Champions. He played the final month of the season with a left knee meniscus tear.
Choice would also lead Tech to its tenth straight bowl game against West Virginia in the 2007 Gator Bowl. Choice sliced and diced his way through opponents in 2006 and worked his way towards becoming a preseason pick on several 2007 Heisman Trophy lists.
Choice led the Yellow Jackets' powerful ground game behind four returning starters on the offensive line and veteran fullback Mike Cox. As the reigning ACC Rushing Champion, Choice looked to improve upon 2006's 9-win season with new offensive coordinator John Bond featuring the single back formation.
He missed the second half of the third game against Boston College with a right hamstring pull that would limit him throughout the season. He suffered a right knee sprain in the eight game against Army, undergoing minor surgery three days later that would forced him to miss the ninth game against Virginia Tech. He also missed part of the tenth game Duke University when he re-injured his right hamstring, but was able to return to the contest in the second quarter.
Choice had 1,310 yards rushing on 249 attempts and 10 touchdowns even with injuries to his hamstring and to his knee. He concluded his NCAA career on the "Smurf Turf" of Boise against the Fresno State Bulldogs in the Humanitarian Bowl. He was used in a limited role in Georgia Tech's 40-28 defeat. His best statistical game was against the University of Miami, posting 204 yards rushing with a sore hamstring. he also recorded his first passing touchdown of his career to Taylor Bennett.
He left school after becoming the first player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons, the first player in school history to lead the ACC in rushing in consecutive seasons, tied for first in 100-yard rushing games (18), ranked first in consecutive 100-yard rushing games (9), ranked third in career rushing touchdowns (28), ranked fourth in career yards (3,365) and ranked seventh in career all-purpose yards (3,646).
Awards and honors
The accolades Choice picked up during his college career include:
- 2003 Big 12 All-Academic Team
- 2006 Second Team All-ACC
- 2006 ACC All-Academic Team
- 2006 ESPN All-Bowl Team
- 2007 ACC All-Academic Team
- 2007 First Team All-ACC by league's 73-member media association and Rivals.com
- 2007 Honorable Mention All-America by Sports Illustrated
Choice was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth round (122nd overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft. His first career carry came in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns, where he had five attempts for 26 yards. He did not receive another carry until week 7 against the St. Louis Rams, after he replaced fellow rookie Felix Jones as the backup running back, who had suffered a torn hamstring against the Arizona Cardinals in week 6 and later a season ending torn ligament in his left toe during his recovery process.
He was used primarily on special teams until injuries to Marion Barber forced the team to play him against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who at the time had the best defense in the NFL. Choice surprised by registering 23 carries for 88 yards, and five receptions for 78 yards.
This started a stretch of playing time against some of the league's best defenses. The following week against the New York Giants, he rushed 9 times for 91 yards, caught 4 passes for a team-high 52 receiving yards and scored his first career touchdown. On December 20 against the Baltimore Ravens, he rushed 17 times for 90 yards, caught seven passes for 25 yards and scored a touchdown.
He finished his rookie season as a player on the rise, based on his late-season starts where he recorded 472 rushing yards, 185 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns.
Choice began the 2009 season behind Marion Barber and Felix Jones on the depth chart, but injuries to both of those players gave him more playing time in week 3 against the Carolina Panthers, registering 18 carries for 82 yards, 4 catches for 36 yards and one touchdown in a win. On October 11 against the Kansas City Chiefs, he had 8 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown.
After the week 7 game against the Atlanta Falcons his workload was reduced when Barber and Jones returned. The rest of the year he was used mostly in what was called the Razorback formation, which was the team's variation of the Wildcat offense. He finished the season with 349 rushing yards, 132 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. Because he was seen as a starting-caliber player, the Cowboys received trade offers for Choice, but declined them all.
In 2010, during the season opener he fumbled with four seconds left in the first half, which led to a Washington Redskins' touchdown as time expired that proved to be the difference in the game. Although the call was heavily criticized, after the incident he would not see much action during the team's second worst start in franchise history (one win in their first eight games), that eventually cost the job of head coach Wade Phillips. His special teams shortcomings were also being criticized during the losing streak. On December 5 against the Indianapolis Colts when the season was already lost, he rushed 19 times for 100 yards and a touchdown in a win.
In 2011, the Cowboys drafted DeMarco Murray which put Choice's roster sport in jeopardy, after injuries including a hamstring strain and a minor knee injury limited him to play in only one out of four preseason games. He began the regular season as the backup running back behind Felix Jones. After Jones suffered a sprained ankle, he was named the starting running back in the week 7 game against the St. Louis Rams, but Murray had a performance for the ages, breaking several league and franchise rushing records.
Choice was waived on October 29, with the team deciding to give a bigger role to undrafted rookie Phillip Tanner. He finished his Cowboys career with 250 rushing attempts for 1,139 yards (4.6-yard average), 3 lost fumbles and 8 rushing touchdowns. His longest rushing play went for 66 yards. He also added 64 receptions for 497 yards (7.8-yard average) and no receiving touchdowns.
On October 31, 2011, Choice was claimed off waivers by the Washington Redskins. He was released on November 22, after being deactivated in two contests with a hamstring injury and appearing in one game against his former team the Dallas Cowboys, in which he only gained 7 rushing yards.
The Buffalo Bills claimed Choice off waivers on November 23, 2011, reuniting him with his former Georgia Tech head coach Chan Gailey. He replaced an injured Fred Jackson and was the backup to C. J. Spiller, playing in six games, while rushing for 70 yards and one touchdown.
He was signed as an unrestricted free agent on March 24, 2012. He re-signed with the Bills for a second time on March 29, 2013, and was later released on December 4, with the team opting to give a bigger role to undrafted rookie Ronnie Wingo.
- "Clayton County's Who's Who". Archived from the original on March 29, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2007.
- Knobler, Mike. - "Humanitarian Bowl: Georgia Tech Vs. Fresno State". - Atlanta Journal-Constitution. - December 27, 2007
- "Tashard Choice Profile on RamblinWreck.com". Retrieved April 8, 2007.
- "2003 Oklahoma Sooners Cumulative Statistics". SoonerSports.com. University of Oklahoma Athletic Department. Archived from the original on July 18, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2007.
- "Georgia Tech 2005 Statistics". Retrieved April 8, 2007.
- "Georgia Tech 14, Miami 10". Retrieved April 8, 2007.
- "Rivals.com's RB Power Rankings". CNN. April 3, 2007. Retrieved April 8, 2007.
- "Ridiculously Early Heisman Rankings". Retrieved April 8, 2007.
- "Balanced Offense Highlights Tech Spring Scrimmage". Retrieved April 8, 2007.
- "Former Lovejoy standout transfers to Georgia Tech".
- "Four Schools Dominate 2006 All-ACC Teams".
- "Heyer Named to ESPN.com All-Bowl Team". Archived from the original on January 20, 2013.
- "2007 All-ACC Academic Football Team Announced".
- "2007 All-ACC Football Teams Announced".
- "B.C., Clemson load up on All-ACC teams". Archived from the original on November 30, 2007.
- "SI.com's All-Americas". CNN. December 11, 2007. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
- "Tashard Choice College Stats | College Football at Sports-Reference.com". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- "Barber starts, but Choice finishes for Dallas Cowboys".
- "Tashard Choice Stats". Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- "Cowboys RBs draw interest". Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- Rainer Sabin (September 6, 2011). "Cowboys RB Tashard Choice heeds Jason Garrett's message of competition: 'I'm never comfortable'". Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- NFL.com (November 3, 2011). "Tashard Choice NFL.com Profile". Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- Murphy, John (March 29, 2013). "Choice says he re-signed with the Bills". BuffaloBills.com. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Bills release Tashard Choice
- "Colts sign Tashard Choice". Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- "Colts release Tashard Choice, waive Jake McDonough". Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- "Tashard Choice: Career Stats at NFL.com". www.nfl.com. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
- "Tashard Choice says he's joining Cowboys coaching staff". Retrieved May 3, 2016.
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