|No. 22, 24|
|Born:||June 6, 1965|
Southern Pines, North Carolina
|NFL Draft:||1988 / Round: 4 / Pick: 109|
|Career highlights and awards|
Michigan Wolverines records
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com|
James Walter Morris (born June 6, 1965) is a former professional American football running back in the National Football League (NFL) for the Washington Redskins and a record-setting running back in college for the University of Michigan Wolverines. While attending Michigan, he broke the school's all-time records for rushing yards in a season and in a career and for all-purpose yards in a career. His career rushing total was once third in Big Ten Conference history. He continues to hold the career receptions record for Michigan running backs. He also still holds the all-time NFL record for most rushing attempts in a game with 45.
Morris is the younger brother of Joe Morris who set the all-time rushing record at Syracuse University and went on to play for the New York Giants. Jamie and Joe and two brothers and two sisters grew up in Ayer. Their father, Earl Morris, a former Green Beret master sergeant in Vietnam, was a postmaster in Groton, Massachusetts.
College football at Michigan
Michigan's all-time leader in all-purpose yards
Morris played college football at the University of Michigan from 1984 to 1987 and broke the school's all-time rushing records in yards gained in a season (1,703 yards) and a career (4,392 yards). Though those records were broken 13 years later by Anthony Thomas, Morris still holds the U-M school record for all-purpose yards with 6,201. Morris was also the only player in Michigan history to lead the Wolverines in rushing for four years until Mike Hart did so from 2004–2007. In addition to his rushing yards, he had 99 receptions for 756 yards and 51 kickoff returns for 1,027 yards. He ranks fourth in U-M history in kickoff return yards. He also still ranks third in U-M history in rushing yards in a season and career. Morris was setting Michigan records during the same years Lorenzo White, the Big Ten's first 2,000-yard rusher, was totaling 4,887 yards for the Michigan State Spartans. Neither reached Archie Griffin's 5,589 yard total. Morris was a very versatile running back who was the first Michigan back to total over 30 receptions in a season and remains the only back to have done so twice. He continues to hold the career receptions record for running backs with 99.
In 1986, Morris suffered a knee injury in a game against Florida State. He sat out a game and then came back to play against Ohio State. While he recuperated Thomas Wilcher rushed for 74 yards and two touchdowns against Wisconsin. When Morris returned, he had the best game of his college career against the Buckeyes, gaining 210 yards rushing (302 all-purpose yards) to help the Wolverines win the game and advance to the Rose Bowl. The Wolverines lost the 1987 Rose Bowl to Arizona State 22-15.
Morris also holds the record for the longest run in Outback Bowl history—a 77-yard touchdown run on January 2, 1988 in a 28-24 victory over Alabama. Morris was named MVP of the game, then known as the Hall of Fame Bowl.
Morris' Top 10 game performances at Michigan
Morris' Top 10 game performances for the Wolverines are as follows:
|Rank||Opponent||Date||Rushing Yds.||Recvg. Yds.||Kick Rtn. Yds.||All-Purp. Yds.||TDs||Score|
|10||Long Beach St.||1987-09-26||171||0||0||171||1||49-0|
Relationship with Schembechler
Morris played at Michigan under head coach Bo Schembechler. When Morris first arrived at Michigan, Schembechler told Morris (who stood five feet, seven inches) he was too short to play at running back. Schembechler recalled: "I told Jamie when we recruited him he was too small to be a running back and we wanted him for running back kicks. I did, however, promise him the chance to try to be a running back for us. Good thing I did, isn't it?"  In his third game as a freshman, Schembechler put him in as the starting tailback, and he remained Michigan's starter at the position for four years.
When asked years later about Morris' career at Michigan, Schembechler said: "Here's a kid who I thought would be a very fine kick-return specialist, and he ended up becoming the all-time leading ground-gainer in Michigan history. What do you know about that?"
In a November 2007 interview with The Ann Arbor News, Morris recalled: "Once Coach Bo was chastising me, and (assistant coach Lloyd Carr) pointed out, 'Look at those younger players over there. He's not yelling at them, so he must think something about you.' And that held with me for a long time." 
Morris also spoke at the memorial service held at Michigan Stadium after Schembechler's death in November 2006. While the majority of the speeches focused on how Schembechler will be remembered, Morris spoke about the things he will miss in his coach's absence. "I will miss having the conversations with him about the good old days," he said. "Most importantly, I will miss hearing how much love and pride he had for Michigan - the school, the players and the fans."
U-M's career rushing record
Michigan career rushing yards leaders:
U-M's single-season rushing record
Michigan single-season rushing leaders:
U-M's career kickoff return yards record
Michigan career kickoff return yardage leaders:
Morris set Michigan's all-time rushing records, yet his smaller stature (5 feet, 7 inches) led to a fourth round draft pick during the 1988 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He played three seasons from 1988-1990. His best year was 1988 when he played in all 16 games for the Redskins, and rushed for 437 yards in 126 attempts. During his career, Morris twice rushed for at least 100 yards in a game. Morris also set the NFL record for the most rushing attempts in a game with 45, in a December 17, 1988 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Redskins' web site describes Morris' record-setting performance as follows: "On the morning of Dec. 17, the Redskins had a 7-8 record coming into the season finale at Cincinnati. ... With no hope of returning to the playoffs, the Redskins gave Morris what amounted to an audition for the starting job in 1989. With only 81 carries and 285 yards for the season, the 5-7, 195-pound running back was ready for the challenge. Not only did he carry the ball a record number of times, he gained 152 yards, didn't fumble, and had the Redskins on the brink of victory in a game in which not many experts gave them a chance." Despite the good showing, Morris did not win a starting job in 1989, gaining 336 yards in 124 carries for a 2.7 yard average. Morris' NFL career came to an end in 1990, when he gained only four yards in two carries for the Redskins.
During Morris' NFL career, none of his teams made the playoffs, but the 1989 Redskins under Joe Gibbs were 10-6. In 1988, Gibbs used a triumvirate of running backs with Kelvin Bryant gaining 498 yards, Timmy Smith gaining 470 yards and Morris gaining 437 yards. That season Morris was the leading Redskin kickoff returner with 21 returns for 413 yards. With the New England Patriots in 1990 Morris was one of five return men (Sammy Martin, Marvin Allen, Junior Robinson, and Don Overton) with at least 10 returns for the team.
Morris played one final season of professional football with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League in 1991. Morris ran for 591 yards and caught 28 passes for 263 yards in 12 regular season games. He also returned kicks for 435 yards and scored three touchdowns on a team that struggled to a 1-13 start and finished in last place at 3-15.
Life after football
Morris worked for the University of Michigan Athletic Department as a Development Manager from 1998-2010. He was responsible for donor relations and facilitating the campaign to raise $100 million by 2008. In 2005, Morris hosted the U-M Football Bust put on by the U-M Club of Greater Detroit. He also hosts a popular Sunday morning sports talk show, A View From the Backfield on Sports Talk 1050 WTKA in Ann Arbor.
- White, Gordon S. (1987-01-01). "Rose Bowl: Added incentive for one Morris". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- "Jamie Morris: All-Purpose yardage leader". Those Who Stay Will Be Champions. 2006-07-17. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- "Big Ten Football: Individual Records (All Games)" (PDF). The Big Ten Conference. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
- "Record Book" (PDF). University of Michigan & Host Interactive. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
- "Outback Bowl records". The Outback Bowl. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- "Michigan Football Statistic Archive Query Page". Regents of the University of Michigan. 2003. Archived from the original on 2007-11-12. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- Brandstatter, Jim (2002). Tales from Michigan Stadium, pp. 17-18. Sports Publishing. ISBN 978-1-58261-353-6. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- "Jamie Morris Interview". Ann Arbor News. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- Reid, Andy; Herring, Chris (2006-11-22). "Bo will always be here: Thousands attend memorial at Big House". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 2007-12-06.[permanent dead link]
- "Jamie Morris (big games)". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference, LLC. Archived from the original on 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2008-01-24.
- Krauss, Andy (2005-05-15). "Flashback: Morris Set the Bar High". The Official Site of the Washington Redskins. Archived from the original on March 24, 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- "1989 Washington Redskins". databaseFootball.com. databaseSports.com. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- "1988 Washington Redskins". databaseFootball.com. databaseSports.com. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- "1990 New England Patriots". databaseFootball.com. databaseSports.com. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- "Annual Michigan Football Bust". University of Michigan Club of Greater Detroit. Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- Photograph of Morris (#23) from Bentley Historical Library
- Career statistics and player information from Pro Football Reference