He was born on February 6, 1990 in Richmond, TX and attended Lamar Consolidated High School. He finished his high school career with the most career touchdowns (136). His uncle is former NFL safety Michael Lewis, who played with the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and St. Louis Rams between 2002 and 2010. As a true freshman at Oregon State, he led the team in rushing with 1253 yards on 259 carries (4.8 avg) and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 29 passes for 247 yards (8.5 avg) and another touchdown. He earned 3rd team All-American honors, 1st team All-Pac-10, Pac-10 Offensive Player and Freshman of the Year honors. As a sophomore, he rushed for 1440 yards on 273 carries (5.3 avg) and 21 touchdowns with 78 receptions, 522 receiving yards (6.7 avg) and 1 receiving touchdown. He again earned 3rd team All-American and 1st team All-Pac-10 honors that year. As a junior, he rushed for 1184 yards on 256 carries (4.6 avg), 14 touchdowns, caught 44 passes for 287 yards (6.5 avg) and 3 receiving touchdowns, and earned 1st team All-Pac-10 honors for the third time. During his career, he also completed 2 pass attempts for 25 yards for two scores. He declared early for the 2011 NFL Draft where he was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round (145th overall).
Signed by Falcons on July 28, 2011.
Signed a four-year deal worth $2.231 million. Included in the deal was a $191,000 signing bonus. His base salaries are: $375,000 (2011); $465,000 (2012); $555,000 (2013); and $645,000 (2014). His cap hits are: $422,750 (2011); $512,750 (2012); $602,750 (2013); and $692,750 (2014).