Position: Running Back
Height: 5'10" Weight: 224 lbs
College: Florida Atlantic
Drafted: Sixth Round Pick 173rd Overall
Alfred Morris will be in his fourth year in the league this upcoming season and already has two Pro Bowl selections (2013 & 2014), he was the 64th best player in the Top 100 for 2013, Redskins Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2013 and as a rookie, he was second team Associated Press All-Pro and was named to the Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers Association All Rookie Team. Here are five things to know about him:
#1. Alfred Morris hails from Pensacola, Florida and played his high school football at Pine Forest High. As a Pine Forest Eagle senior, he rushed for 1,049 yards and saw the end zone 17 times. On defense, he recorded 147 tackles and five interceptions.
He was a Max Emfirger All-American, named Northwest Florida MVP, first-team All-State and he participated in the PSA All-Star Game. He wasn't highly touted or sought after as he was only a two star recruit. He received offers from Florida Atlantic and Florida A&M; he chose to play his college football at Florida Atlantic.
#2. He redshirted his freshman season in 2007, played 11 games in 2008 as a redshirt freshman and recorded seven carries for 23 yards in addition to 10 tackles (seven solo) on special teams.
His sophomore year (2009) was a break out year for him. He had seven 100+ yard games. His highest 100 yard games were against Louisiana Lafayette (183 yards, two touchdowns) and Florida International (158 yards, two touchdowns).
That season he had 236 carries, 1,392 yards (5.3 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns. He held the Sun Belt Conference rushing title and the FAU all-time single season rushing record. He also was Florida Atlantic's MVP, won the FAU team Academic Award and the University Male Student Athlete of the Year.
His junior season at Florida Atlantic (2010) saw a slight drop off. He recorded 227 carries, 928 yards (4.1 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns. He was a preseason All-Sun Belt Conference selection that season. Alfred's numbers increased in his final year as a Florida Atlantic Owl (2011), he became second team preseason All-Sun Belt and surpassed 1,000 yards once again, averaged five yards a carry and saw the end zone nine times.
For his career, he had these numbers:
Rushing: 733 carries, 3,529 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and 27 touchdowns
Receiving: 30 catches, 300 yards (10 yards per catch) and four touchdowns
#3. Alfred Morris was drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 draft and in his three seasons with the Redskins so far, he has carried the ball 876 times for 3,962 yards (4.5 yards per carry) and 28 touchdowns. He also has 37 catches and 310 yards (8.4 yards per catch). I noted his accomplishments at the top of the article so he definitely has earned his respect in the NFL.
#4. According to Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda, NFL.com writer Greg Rosenthal believes Alfred Morris could be a top contender for the rushing title in 2015:
"I'll try to pick an upset to keep things interesting," he said. "Everywhere that offensive line coach Bill Callahan goes, monster running games follow. With Callahan now in Washington, Alfred Morris could be the beneficiary this season."
Even though the Redskins drafted former Florida Gator running Back Matt Jones, Rosenthal feels like Morris could reach his rookie year yardage total this season:
"The Redskins drafted Matt Jones to help out the running game, but Morris is a better option as the every-down pounder," he writes. "Considering the rotating cast of quarterbacks last year, the Redskins were committed to the run. Morris has always been an underrated power runner. With Callahan around and the line improved, he could top 1,600 yards again, like in his rookie season."
#5. 247 Sports Redskins Writer Tolly Taylor believes that Alfred Morris is one of the team's most irreplaceable players and I happen to think he is right:
"Some analysts have picked Morris as the dark horse to win the 2015 NFL rushing crown. That’s in spite of the fact that Morris took hand offs from three different quarterbacks last year, and could do the same thing this year. Sure, there’s that guy in Minnesota who’s a freak of nature and returns refreshed after a year suspension, but hey, the fact that Morris is in the conversation—and to be clear, he should be—means that he’s absolutely irreplaceable in Washington."
Bottom Line: Alfred Morris is on pace for a big year in 2015 with the resurgence of the Redskins' offensive line and Bill Callahan leading the way. If the line can stay healthy for the better part of the season, Morris could be one of the top rushers in the league and make the NFL's Top 100 list once again.