Getting To Know A Draft Pick – James Starks

To help Packers fans get to know the newest members of the team better, caught up with each of the seven 2010 draft picks for an extended Q&A about their background, both on and off the field.


The interviews will be posted as a weekly series, continuing today with sixth-round selectionJames Starksfrom Buffalo.

Where is your hometown, and what is the most interesting thing about it?
Niagara Falls is where I'm from. For it to be such a small town, I would say there's a lot to do. As far as sports and everything, you can keep yourself busy.

Do you have any pre-game rituals or superstitions?
I usually listen to some gospel music first, and then I'll listen to some R&B, and then I'll listen to some rap. The gospel music kind of soothes you, the R&B you start getting in the mood a little more, and then rap just takes over when it's about that time to play. Since high school, I felt comfortable every game doing that, so I've been doing it ever since.

What's the most memorable football game you've ever been a part of, be it Pop Warner, high school or college?
Probably the MAC Championship, my junior year, in Detroit. We were an up-and-coming program, and our record wasn't that good, but we beat people who weren't supposed to lose to us. Ball State, they were ranked 12th in the nation, and I think they were undefeated through their season, and we beat a powerhouse, gave them their first loss. It meant a lot, because Coach Turner (Gill) came there and turned the program around in like three years. You usually don't see that.

Who's the most influential coach you've ever played for and why?
Coach Turner. He put me in great positions to be successful, and he explained the game to me a lot. I didn't even really understand it as far as technique and how much that means. After the draft, I talked to him, and he was telling me to take everything one at a time, don't try to do too much. He was telling me to study and make sure I know my stuff. It's a learning process, don't get down on yourself, keep pushing.

Who's the most famous athlete you've ever met in person? When and where did you meet them?
Probably the whole team here. I've also seen Bernard Hopkins. I took some pictures with him and met him when we were in Miami. I talked to him and he shook my hand and tried to school us a little on being careful and everything.

When was the first time you set foot in the city of Green Bay, and what was your first impression?
The rookie orientation. My first thought was this looks just like Niagara Falls. It was a little airport, and our airport is little too.

Who is the most interesting person in your family?
I would say my mom. She's a funny person, a good mother. She took care of all us kids, and I don't know how she did it. She did a lot. I have three brothers and three sisters, plus myself, so that's seven kids, on her own.

Outside of anything in sports, what's your proudest accomplishment in life?
I just graduated (with a degree in sociology), and not too many people did that in my family, so that's it for me.

At what point were you sure you were going to be in the NFL someday?
High school, and then in college it just kept going from there. It was easy in high school. I never lifted a weight. I had bad habits, was lazy, and didn't know what it took to be good, so I learned a lot in college. I was doing great in high school, not even lifting, and that's what made me think (I'd make it).

Was there a football player you idolized growing up? Why him?
I liked Gale Sayers, and I liked Clinton Portis. I liked his style. And I liked Jamal Anderson, the 'Dirty Bird.'

What are your hobbies? What do you like to do when you are not playing football?
Draw, watch TV, play cards, pretty simple. I like to draw comic books, or draw something out of magazines, bubble letters, free-style stuff. I've got a little chalk drawing, and my high school hung up a portrait of me that I drew, framed and stuff. But I've been busy now in the playbook, so I haven't drawn anything lately.

What do you want Packer fans to know about you as a person?
Just that I'm a good person, easy to get along with. That's about it.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content


Action Needed: Update your Packers Mobile App!

Fans attending any games during the 2023 season should update their Packers mobile app due to important upgrades and enhancements.