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George Starke
Offensive lineman
Jersey #(s)
Born July 18, 1948 (1948-07-18) (age 61)
New York City, New York
Career information
Year(s) 19731984
NFL Draft 1971 / Round: 11 / Pick: 272
College Columbia College
Professional teams
Career stats
Games played 156
Games started 147
Fumble recoveries 5
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

George Lawrence Starke (born July 18, 1948 in New York City, New York) is a former American football offensive lineman who played for the Washington Redskins in the National Football League.

A 1971 graduate of Columbia College in New York City, Starke led his team in receptions as a tight end in 1969.

He played professionally for the Washington Redskins from 1973-84 as an offensive lineman, helping them win Super Bowl XVII. He was named one of the 70 greatest players in Redskins history.[1]

The 6'5", 255-pound Starke was known by many as the "Head Hog" of "The Hogs," the Redskins' famed offensive line which also included Russ Grimm, Mark May, Joe Jacoby and Jeff Bostic.[2] The Hogs stayed together with a few other new additions nearly a decade after Starke's retirement in 1984.

Following his retirement, Starke was an analyst for many years on Redskins radio broadcasts.

Arrest for Drug Possession

Starke ended up in court after police found crack cocaine in a car he was driving. He was stopped by police May 14, 2004 in Northeast Washington after police noticed he was not wearing a seat belt. He pleaded guilty to a possession charge but has publicly insisted that the drugs were not his. Starke maintains that he had nothing to do with the cocaine that was discovered in the car. He said the vehicle was donated to the organization for troubled youth he runs.

A drug test following his arrest came back positive, according to a transcript of a bench conference May 27. The transcript does not make it clear exactly when the test was performed or what drug was involved. "This is a possession case," Judge Zinora Mitchell-Rankin privately told the lawyers that day. "His tests are positive."

According to court transcripts, the judge's private meeting with attorneys regarding Starke's positive drug test also included discussions about ways to minimize the public attention the case would get.

Despite Judge Mitchell-Rankin's efforts to help keep the positive drug test under wraps, Starke went on television and all but denied having any drug problems. This did not sit well with the judge. Before imposing Starke's sentence, the judge admonished him by saying, "Prudence and good judgment would have dictated that you kept your mouth shut," Mitchell-Rankin told Starke.

In addition to one year of probation, Starke was ordered to attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings three times a week, obtain a sponsor, continue to undergo drug testing and pay $50 in court costs. Starke could have faced up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.


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