At Ayer, Larry knocked over Joe's football records laughing. Another example: Joe held the single-game rushing mark at 315 yards; Larry did 355. In his senior year Larry scored 36 touchdowns, while Joe had 22 in his best season. Larry's problem was that he was too good. On five occasions he scored in a game the first time he got the ball. The games were such romps (Ayer was 11-0 in 1980 and the Division II Central Mass. Super Bowl champ) that in the first four, Larry got to carry only 21 times as Kilcoyne tried to avoid running up the score.
"I don't know what's going to happen at Syracuse," says Larry, "but the main thing is I don't want to embarrass Joe by playing bad." Joe laughs and says of his Syracuse rushing record, "That one will stand forever—until Larry gets his chance. Then there I'll go again."
Which brings us to Mike, 5'10", 165 pounds. He ended up being a freshman at Syracuse with Larry because Earl Morris decided Larry should repeat fourth grade. "Teacher just kept promoting Larry," says Earl, "and he just kept getting dumber. That didn't make no sense." But that meant Mike, also a running back, didn't get to carry the ball as much (only 1,216 yards as a senior at Ayer and a paltry 15 touchdowns). MacPherson plans to make Mike a wide receiver for the Orange because of his speed.
At Ayer, he destroyed Joe's track records so completely that big brother's marks look as if he had to stop and ask directions en route. Joe did a 9.7 100; Mike was 9.2. Joe ran a 220 in 21.9; Mike had a 20.9. Joe was on a 440-yard relay team that clocked a 43.4; Mike was on a team—which included Larry and Jamie—that did 41.2. Mike went to the New England championships and ran a 10.36 in the 100 meters, better than the then-listed National Federation record of 10.4 set by Darren Walker (the senior Stanford running back who, like brother Joe, is a long-shot Heisman candidate). Later, at an invitational in Naperville, Ill., Mike ran a 10.34.
For reasons he can't put his finger on, Kilcoyne thinks Mike may turn out to be the best football player of all the Morrises. "If he grows, plus all that speed, he's going to be unbelievable," says Kilcoyne. "There is something latent there." Some would say that, with his running potential, Mike should focus his attention on the Olympics, but he demurs: "I love football too much."
Sitting around home talking ("Mike, you're not on the sofa, are you?" "No, ma'am"), Mike says, "Do you know why all of us try so hard?"
"Because Joe tries so hard. And do you understand why I want Jamie to do better than me?"
"Because he's my brother."