And now he's using that as motivation to help underprivileged kids in his hometown of Oakland through his "Family First" foundation.
"I feel that's most important," Lynch told "The Barbershop" on 710 ESPN Seattle. "To put a different light into their lives and let them know that they actually do have a chance.
"Most people told me growing up that I would either be dead or in jail by the age of 18. I have friends that didn't make it to 18. I've got homeboys now that have been in jail since they was 16. This is something that I wanted to change in my neighborhood. I felt if I could influence one kid to try to help them through life, that's a win for me."
Fame, however, still doesn't come easy for Lynch, who scored the winning 6-yard touchdown in overtime to defeat the Denver Broncos 26-20 Sunday.
"Being in this position, I feel I was never meant to be famous so somebody wanted to keep tabs on me and follow my every move," Lynch said. "That's not something that I'm into. For the love and support, I appreciate that. But it might get a little bit out of hand with some people. At the end of the day, we shower and shave the same as everybody else does. That's my perspective on it."
And while he's uncomfortable with fame, Lynch is right at home on the football field, where he said he never gets nervous.
"Playing this game of football, there are a lot of ups and downs," Lynch said. "I don't let my emotions get too high either way. It's just another opportunity for me to do something that I love. I honestly don't think there's anything that might rattle me."
Except, perhaps, having one of his dreadlocks pulled from his head -- as happened Sunday against the Broncos.
After Lynch was forced out of bounds on one run, he stopped, looked down at the turf and picked up ... a strand of his hair.
"I lost one,'' Lynch said. "I had to RIP one. I had a nice service when I got home."