In the weeks leading up the seventh annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan. 20 at the Rose Bowl Stadium, we will profile 10 draft-eligible players who have committed to play in the prestigious all-star game. Today’s feature is on Washington State running back Jamal Morrow.
Jamal Morrow was the perfect match for Mike Leach’s aerial offense at Washington State. Most running backs might shirk at the notion of being in such a pass-heavy offense, but Morrow has used his circumstances to become a complete offensive weapon.
As a freshman, Morrow found a way to make an instant impact on the football field. Although he only recorded double-digits carries twice that season, thanks to his soft hands and run-after-the-catch capabilities, he was a valued asset to the Cougars’ passing attack. In just his third and fourth games, Morrow had over 100 yards from scrimmage in consecutive weeks, including more than 70 receiving yards in each performance. His biggest output came midway through the season against Arizona, when he reeled in 11 catches for 118 yards.
Believe it or not, for all of Morrow’s offensive exploits, it wasn’t until the seventh game of his sophomore year that he scored the first two touchdowns of his collegiate career. He found the end zone again during Washington State’s win over Miami in the Sun Bowl, when he had 121 yards from scrimmage to lead the Cougars to their first bowl win in 12 years.
Morrow’s first rushing touchdown came in Week 1 of his junior year, sparking a campaign during which he was a nightmare for defenses. The versatile rusher finished the season with over 1,000 yards from scrimmage, 138 touches, and 10 total scores (five rushing, five receiving).
Morrow’s steady rise continued during his senior season. It began with an 89 rushing yards and a touchdown against Montana State, and was followed by a huge upset of USC, during which he gained 91 yards on just six carries to go with five catches for 47 yards and a touchdown.
Behind the senior’s impactful play and 1,028 total yards, the Cougars started 6-0 and ultimately were invited to the Holiday Bowl, where they fell to Michigan State. With 122 receptions for his career, Morrow finished as the third-leading receiver in school history, proving that even a running back can find his place in a pass-happy offense.