Amos Marsh

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Amos Marsh
No. 31
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1939-05-07)May 7, 1939
Place of birth: Williams, Arizona
Date of death: November 2, 1992(1992-11-02) (aged 53)
Place of death: San Jose, California
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school: Wallowa (OR)
College: Oregon State
Undrafted: 1961
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 95
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Amos Marsh, Jr. (May 7, 1939 – November 2, 1992) was a professional American football running back in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions. He played college football at Oregon State University.

Early years[edit]

Marsh was the starting running back at Wallowa High School, contributing to the team's Tu-Valley football co-championship in 1957.[1] Which was a three way tie with Enterprise and Union, but only Wallowa advanced to the state playoffs after a vote by the league's school superintendents.

As a sprinter and long jumper in track, Marsh helped Wallowa win the 1957 State Class "B" title. During those years, he developed a famous rivalry with Jim Puckett from Cove High School.[2] The two raced in the 100 yard dash competition, with Puckett winning every contest, making Marsh the 100-yard dash state runner up three times (1956–1958). The 100-yard dash is no longer practiced and was run from 1927 to 1977.

College years[edit]

Marsh accepted an Oregon State University track and field scholarship, where he competed as a sprinter, hurdler and a broad jumper. In college, he repeatedly beat Puckett, who ran representing the University of Oregon.

He also played football as a wingback, halfback, split end and kicker. He was part of the No. 6 ranked University of Southern California upset 14-0 at the Los Angeles Coliseum on September 16, 1960. The Trojans were ranked No. 1 in the preseason by Playboy magazine and it was the last time an OSU team experienced victory at USC.

As a senior, he was shifted to split end but did not have much success, catching only 10 passes. He was selected to be a part of the North-South Shrine Game.

Professional Football[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Marsh was signed as a rookie undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys in 1961, because they were impressed by his speed. He also was a powerful player, earning the nicknames were "Moose" and "Forward Marsh".

He started his career as a wide receiver and special teams player. In 1962 to take advantage of his size and speed, he was moved to fullback, playing alongside Don Perkins where he became one of the league top 10 rushers with 802 yards and a 5.6 yards average per carry.[3] That year, he also set the franchise record for the longest kickoff return with 101 yards, a record that was broken by Alexander Wright 29 years later in 1991. The play came against the Philadelphia Eagles, when the Cowboys became the first NFL team in history to produce two 100-yard plays in the same game: a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by strong safety Mike Gaechter and the 101 yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Marsh.[4]

Marsh's production regressed during the following years, leading the Cowboys to trade him to the Detroit Lions on September 9, 1965, after the team acquired fullback J.D. Smith. The team selected Walt Garrison with the fifth round draft choice they obtained in the transaction.

Detroit Lions[edit]

Playing as a fullback in 1965, he led the Detroit Lions in rushing (405 yards) and touchdowns (8). On August 19, 1968, he was traded to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for a conditional 1969 draft pick (not exercised).[5]

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

On September 2, 1969, he was waived by the Atlanta Falcons before the start of the season.[6]

Personal life[edit]

His brother Frank also went on to play professional football and then into professional basketball.

Marsh died on November 2, 1992, after suffering a series of strokes, because of his diabetes condition.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wallowa Dumps Heppner 33 to 7; Hermiston Next". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Prep Track Meets Open on 2 Fronts". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  3. ^ "1962 NFL rushing statistics". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Greatest 25: Two For The Price Of One, 1962". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Falcons Acquire Marsh From Lions". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Falcons trade off Leo Carroll". Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Amos Marsh Jr., Football Player, 53". Retrieved February 19, 2017.