Hap posted this in the Breaking News, but I really enjoyed the article and didn't want anybody to miss it.
Redskins’ Alfred Morris: An unlikely star now driving in the fast lane
It’s the unlikeliest of rides for the NFL’s fifth-leading rusher. But very little is typical when it comes to Morris, who has helped quarterback Robert Griffin III transform the Washington Redskins’ offense into one of the most potent attacks in the NFL. ¶ From his journey to the NFL — routed through Florida Atlantic University — to his ascension as Washington’s starting running back, nothing is as one would expect. ¶ But that’s fine with Morris, a soft-spoken, “Yes-sir, yes-ma’am” kid, the fourth of Ronald and Yvonne Morris’s seven sons.
To Morris, the 21-year-old car with 124,000 miles on the odometer represents a gift from God; the answer to countless prayers — even more than he offered up regarding his dream of playing in the NFL.
“The two most reliable things I had were my legs, so I used to walk everywhere,” the 5-foot-10, 218-pound Morris says with a shrug. “I’d walk to class, walk to work at Sears. It was quite a haul, but I’d walk it. I wanted a car so bad.”
Three years after he arrived at Florida Atlantic, Morris’s pastor, Gregory Fashaw, sold the football player the Mazda. He wanted to give it to Morris. But in fear of violating NCAA rules of improper benefits, he sold it to Morris for a great price.
“He said, ‘Two dollars. Just two dollars,’ ” Morris recalled.
Morris drove the car the 1,022 miles from South Florida to Ashburn this spring after the Redskins drafted him and signed him to a deal that will pay him roughly $390,000 as a rookie. He could afford another car, but prefers to save and help his family.
“Why would I waste money on another car? My needs are met,” he says.
Said Redskins fullback Darrel Young: “He comes into Redskins Park in that every day. He doesn’t care what people think about him. That should tell you there’s something special about him.”
Morris last week joined Larry Brown, John Riggins, George Rogers, Earnest Byner and Terry Allen as the only running backs in Redskins history to open a season with at least 75 yards in each of his first four games. At this pace, Morris will rush for 1,504 yards and shatter the franchise rookie record of 1,063 yards set in 1993 by Reggie Brooks.
The Morrises walked to Sunday morning services every week at New Dimensions Christian Center in Pensacola with their seven boys. Yvonne Morris regularly preached three one-verse sermonettes: “Without God, we can do nothing”; “He who will not work, will not eat”; and “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
And so, Alfred Morris tries to live by those lessons.
“He’s not a big trash-talker,” Young says. “He’s a religious kid. He doesn’t swear. He comes from a good family. He’s got a good base.”
Morris regularly seeks opportunities for community service. When the Redskins hold events for children as part of the NFL’s campaign against youth obesity, Morris volunteers. Last Tuesday, the team hosted a banquet for breast cancer survivors. Morris attended, and at one point, he and long snapper Nick Sundberg donned blond wigs to entertain the women.
“It’s a blessing to be able to give back,” Morris said. “I don’t do it for attention. I just want to make a difference. I’d rather fly under the radar. I’m a simple guy.”