Ricky Williams wasn't the only 2,000-yard collegiate rusher in 1998. Maurice Morris did it, too.
Maurice who? Don't try to look it up -- his name isn't in the NCAA record books.
No, there wasn't a media coup against Morris, but there's a bold-faced asterisk next to his 2,085 yards: In 1998, Morris was in junior college. It was his first year at Fresno City College in Fresno, Calif., to be exact.
A year and another 1,623 yards later, Morris has moved upward -- both geographically and institutionally -- to play for an Oregon squad that's desperately in need of someone to replace record-setting tailback Reuben Droughns.
Morris' emigration from the JUCO ranks isn't a first for the Ducks. Two of Oregon's top tailbacks in the '90s -- Droughns (now with the NFL's Detroit Lions) and Saladin McCullough -- were junior-college transfers.
Coach Mike Bellotti seems to have no doubts Morris will equal -- and possibly exceed -- the contributions of his predecessors in the Duck backfield.
"Morris gives us a chance to compete with anybody in the nation," Bellotti said. "He's a strong runner. He breaks a lot of tackles. He finds a seam and makes a burst."
-- Luke Winn