Before "Beast Mode" began, Marshawn Lynch was a 180-pound scatback who drove his coaches crazy at Oakland Technical High School by avoiding contact.

"He used to get chewed out as soon as he hit the sideline," Virdell Larkins, Lynch's cousin and an Oakland Tech assistant coach, told USA TODAY Sports.

"In high school, he would hit the hole and he would juke, juke, juke. Our thing was, 'Marshawn, just hit the hole and stop trying to run around everybody.'"

It's hard to imagine that conversation taking place on the Seattle Seahawks' sideline with Lynch powering his team into the NFC title game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Here, he is Beast Mode — the Skittles-chomping, stiff-arming superhero who has rushed for more than 5,000 yards with 50 trips to the end zone since arriving from the Buffalo Bills in a 2010 trade.

But almost every Monday, Lynch takes the short flight to the Bay Area, where he's still Marshawn. The No.24 Seahawks jerseys seen in the heart of 49ers country Sunday will give away the pride his hometown takes in his success.

"He is definitely our star of Oakland, man," said Lynch's close friend, Kevin Parker, "and somebody I love dearly."

One of four children raised by a single mother, Lynch arrived on April 22, 1986, with an unexpected message from the midwife: he might have had a twin that didn't develop.