Joining the PodUp this Friday is Gator Great, 11 year NFL Veteran, 2X Super Bowl champion, SEC champion & former Gator offensive lineman, Max Starks.
Starks is yet another Gator that has succeeded in sports, life & entrepreneurship after football. Every young athlete & existing college player should listen to this interview.
Starks accepted an athletic scholarship to attend UF where he played for coach Steve Spurrier & coach Ron Zook’s Florida Gators football teams from 2000-03. During his time as a Gator, he won an SEC championship ring (2000) & blocked for record-setting Gators quarterbacks Rex Grossman (2000-02) & Chris Leak (2003) in addition to Jesse Palmer. Starks started 3 consecutive years at 3 different positions (RT in 2001, LT in 2002, and RG/LT in 2003). He played in 43 games, with 36 starts, for 2,698 plays, & started the 2002 Orange Bowl as a senior, Starks was a team captain and first-team All-SEC selection.
While he was a Florida undergraduate, Starks was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He graduated from UF with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2007. He was the recipient of the Bob Bryan Student-Athlete Award.
The 6’8″, 370 pounds wears size 19 shoes.
Max Starks was drafted in 2004 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He became a starter for the first time in the 2005 season for the eventual Super Bowl Champion, Steelers. Starks started all 16 Steelers games in 2012. He joined the San Diego Chargers in 2013 & signed with the St. Louis Rams. He finished his career with the Arizona Cardinals in 2015. He announced his retirement from professional football in January 2015.
Starks was born in Orlando, Florida. He attended Orlando Christian School for 6th to 8th graders, where he played basketball & volleyball for the OCS Knights. As an 8th-grader he wore size 16 shoes; when he had a difficult time finding shoes that fit, he borrowed shoes from NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, who played at the time for the Orlando Magic; Starks was a ball boy for the Magic at that time. Starks attended Lake Highland Preparatory School. He is the only high school football player in the history of the Highlanders to become a pro athlete. He was one of the state’s top offensive linemen in 1999, was named to Super Prep’s, National Bluechips and Prep Star’s high school All-America teams, and was a USA Today honorable mention All-American. Starks visited Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, & USC before choosing the Gators.
Starks is the son of former professional defensive lineman Ross Browner. Starks appeared in Chunky Soup commercials eating soup with Steelers back-up quarterback Charlie Batch, defensive tackle Casey Hampton and others.
In 2006, he traveled with Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bryce Fisher & Atlanta Falcons Patrick Kerney on the USO Tour, traveling to US military bases, a tradition begun by such NFL greats as Frank Gifford & Johnny Unitas. In 2005 Starks visited the USS Theodore Roosevelt at sea, along with members of the Cincinnati Bengals coaching staff.
Starks was heavily involved in the local community at UF. He served as a tutor in Gainesville & worked with Kids Against Drugs, Alcohol, & Tobacco. Starks also became involved with the charity Cents of Relief which works to prevent human trafficking and allow access to healthcare for vulnerable populations, particularly women of prostitution & their children. He currently serves on the charity’s Board of Directors.
Starks is a Sports host on XM radio for SEC/ESPNU/NFL. He is also an analyst for Fox Sports in Phoenix, Arizona where he resides. He is a partner with Ventures LLC & also. partner in S&W Holding, a real estate venture. He is also a consultant & podcaster.