Knowshon Moreno
refer to caption
Moreno with the Denver Broncos in 2010
No. 27, 28
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1987-07-16) July 16, 1987 (age 35)
Belford, New Jersey
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school:Middletown South
(Middletown, New Jersey)
College:Georgia (2006–2008)
NFL Draft:2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing attempts:876
Rushing yards:3,616
Rushing touchdowns:27
Receiving yards:1,409
Receiving touchdowns:9
Player stats at

Knowshon Rockwell Moreno (born July 16, 1987) is a former American football running back. He played college football at the University of Georgia and was selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos. He also played for the Miami Dolphins.

Early years

Moreno grew up in Belford, a neighborhood in Middletown Township, New Jersey. His parents are Freddie Moreno, who is of Puerto Rican descent and a former member of the Five-Percent Nation,[1] and Varashon Mcqueen-Moreno who is of African-American descent.[2] At Middletown High School South, he led his team to three Central Jersey Group III championships.[3] He rushed for 1,629 yards on 153 carries and scored 28 touchdowns in 11 games as a senior.[4] He finished his high school career with 6,268 career rushing yards, 128 touchdowns, and 768 points. His rushing yards are second all-time in New Jersey high school ranks, while he is New Jersey's all-time leading scorer. He also rushed for 420 yards and seven touchdowns in one game against the Neptune Scarlet Fliers.[5] He also rushed for six touchdowns against the Monmouth Regional Falcons.

While at Middletown South, Moreno was also a top tier sprinter and jumper during the indoor and outdoor track seasons. In fact, he holds multiple school records, including the fastest time for the 100-meter dash at 11.01 seconds. He recorded a PR of 6.73 seconds in the 55 meters at the 2005 Shore Conference Championships, where he placed 4th.[6] At the 2005 Monmouth County Championships, he captured three state titles, winning the 100 meters (11.1 s), the long jump (6.68 m) and the triple jump (13.38 m).[7]

He was the #10 running back and #73 prospect according to, #9 running back according to, and was a PrepStar 200 selection. He was also an EA Sports All-American while being recruited by Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Florida.[8] Moreno eventually signed his letter of intent to Georgia.[9]

Collegiate career

Freshman season

Moreno redshirted in 2006, and entered the 2007 season as a redshirt freshman under head coach Mark Richt. After a great spring, Moreno shared time with Thomas Brown as the starting running back in the season opener against Oklahoma State. Moreno totaled 70 yards rushing on 12 carries with two receptions for 51 yards in the 35–14 win.[10] In the following game against South Carolina, Moreno saw most of the rushing duties with 14 carries for 104 yards in the 12–16 loss.[11] In the third game of the season against Western Carolina, Moreno scored his first career college touchdown in a 45–16 win over Western Carolina. His totals on the day were 94 yards on 13 rushes with one touchdown.[12]

Entering the Bulldogs' game against Vanderbilt, it was announced that Georgia's starting tailback Thomas Brown would be sidelined with a broken collarbone. Moreno was elevated to starting tailback in Brown's place and responded with 157 rushing yards in the narrow 20–17 victory.[13]

Following a bye week, he continued his impressive season with 188 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 33 carries as Georgia defeated its rival, Florida.[14] Against Troy the next game, Moreno rushed for 196 yards, joining Herschel Walker as the only player in Georgia history to rush for 1,000 yards in his freshman season.[15]

Moreno rushed for over 100 yards for the fifth straight game in leading the Georgia Bulldogs to a 24–13 victory over Kentucky while totaling 124 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.[16] Moreno is the first Georgia tailback since Herschel Walker in 1982 to rush for over 100 yards in five straight games.

Through the first ten weeks of the 2007 season, Moreno was named the SEC Freshman of the Week three times and SEC Offensive Player of the Week once.[17] He was named onto the all-SEC first-team and was the unanimous SEC Freshman of the Year. He was the featured tailback on the Freshman All-American first-team and was named to the All-Freshman SEC team. Sporting News named him Freshman Offensive Player of the Year.

Moreno finished the season with 1,334 yards on 248 carries for 14 touchdowns. He also added 253 receiving yards on 20 receptions.[18]

Knowshon Moreno during his tenure at Georgia.
Knowshon Moreno during his tenure at Georgia.

Sophomore season

Moreno began his sophomore campaign as a Heisman Trophy favorite. He opened the season with 59 yards on eight carries for three touchdowns and 53 yards on two receptions for a total of 112 yards and three touchdowns in the 45–21 win over Georgia Southern.[19] He also had a tackle on a kickoff. In the following 56–17 win over Central Michigan, Moreno rushed 18 times for 168 yards and three touchdowns.[20] He also had three receptions for 30 yards, totaling 198 yards of total offense in the win. The game also provided Moreno with his highlight reel's iconic moment: a hurdle over an upright CMU defender.[21] In the SEC opener for the Bulldogs against South Carolina, Moreno had 20 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown in the 14–7 win. Next, Moreno and the Bulldogs traveled to Arizona to defeat Arizona State 27–10, led by his 149 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.[22]

However, the Bulldogs' undefeated record was broken in a 41–30 loss to Alabama.[23] In the loss, Moreno was held to 34 yards and a score on 9 carries. It was the only game on the season in which he was held under 50 yards rushing and 50 yards of total offense. However, Moreno bounced back in the 26–14 win over Tennessee with 101 yards. However, he was held out of the endzone for the first time on the season.[24]

Georgia defeated Vanderbilt 24–14 to improve their record to 6–1, with Moreno rushing 23 times for a season-high 172 yards and a touchdown.[25] Moreno added onto his season totals in the 52–38 victory against LSU with 163 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Moreno's totals in the two-week effort was 335 yards and two touchdowns on only 44 carries.[26]

However, Georgia was handed their second conference loss in a 49–10 rout against eventual national champion Florida, in which Moreno was held to 65 yards on 17 carries.[27] Moreno closed out the season strong with 410 yards rushing, 235 receiving and accounted for six touchdowns in the games against Kentucky, Auburn, Georgia Tech and Michigan State.[28]

He finished the 2008 season with 1,792 yards of total offense (1,400 rushing on 250 carries and 392 yards on 33 receptions) and scored 18 touchdowns (16 rushing, 2 receiving). He was named the team's offensive MVP. He finished second in Doak Walker award voting, behind Shonn Greene. He was named first-team All-SEC for the second consecutive year, and was a second-team All-American selection. On January 7, 2009, Moreno announced that he would enter the 2009 NFL Draft. Just after being drafted Moreno signed an endorsement deal with McDavidUSA and Hexpad equipment.[29]


Rushing Receiving
2006 Redshirt
2007 248 1,334 5.4 80 14 20 253 12.7 35 0
2008 250 1,400 5.6 68 16 33 392 11.9 37 2
Totals 498 2,734 5.5 80 30 53 645 12.2 37 2


Professional career

Moreno was considered the best running back available in the 2009 NFL Draft.[31]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 10+58 in
(1.79 m)
217 lb
(98 kg)
30+34 in
(0.78 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.62 s 1.64 s 2.71 s 4.27 s 6.84 s 35.5 in
(0.90 m)
9 ft 7 in
(2.92 m)
25 reps
All values from NFL Combine[32][33]

Denver Broncos

Moreno was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round with the 12th overall pick, which was their first of two first-round picks in the 2009 NFL Draft.[34] He was the first running back and the second of six Georgia Bulldogs to be selected that year.[35][36] Moreno chose to wear the number 27 on his jersey, the same number used by the late Darrent Williams. He received permission from Williams's mother Rosalind. Moreno said he would honor the number, and volunteer at the Darrent Williams Teen Center.[37]

On August 7, 2009, after an eight-day holdout, Moreno signed a five-year, $18.084 million contract with a $2.094 million club option for 2014. The deal included $14.2 million guaranteed and Moreno could earn an additional $6.3 million through incentives.[38] On September 27, 2009, Moreno scored his first career NFL touchdown with a seven-yard run against the Oakland Raiders.[39] Overall, in the 2009 season, he had 947 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns, 213 receiving yards, and two receiving touchdowns.[40]

In the 2010 season, Moreno had 779 rushing yards, five rushing touchdowns, 372 receiving yards, and three receiving touchdowns in 13 games.[41]

During the 2011 season, Moreno split playing time with Willis McGahee. Moreno averaged a career-high 5.3 yards per carry. His season was cut short on November 15, 2011 when the Broncos placed Moreno on the IR after he tore his ACL against the Kansas City Chiefs finishing the season with 179 rushing yards and 1 total touchdown.[42]

Moreno returned to the playing field for the 2012 season and ran for a seven-yard touchdown in the opening game win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.[43] After he fumbled in the second game of the season against the Atlanta Falcons, Moreno was benched and was ruled inactive for eight straight weeks.[44] After Willis McGahee was placed on injured reserve with a leg and knee injury, Moreno was reactivated. Despite speculation that rookie Ronnie Hillman, McGahee's backup, would assume the starting role, Moreno was named the starting running back in the next game against the Kansas City Chiefs. In his first game back, Moreno put up solid numbers, rushing for 97 yards on 20 carries and recorded one touchdown while still catching four passes for 26 yards.[45] Two games later in an away game against the Oakland Raiders, Moreno rushed for 135 yards on a career-high 32 carries and recorded a touchdown. He also had four catches for 48 yards in the game.[46] In the following game against the Baltimore Ravens, Moreno rushed for 115 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown.[47] In the game, he hurdled over an upright Ed Reed on a 20-yard rush. For that game against the Ravens, Moreno was named "AFC Offensive Player of the Week" and was named the "Fedex Ground Player of the Week." Overall, Moreno finished the 2012 season with 525 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns to go along with 21 receptions for 167 receiving yards.[48]

Moreno continued his comeback into the 2013 season winning the starting running back job over frontrunners Ronnie Hillman and rookie Montee Ball. Moreno had a career-high 37 rushes for 224 yards against the New England Patriots in Week 12.[49] During the Broncos' Week 16 win over the Houston Texans, Moreno became the first Bronco in franchise history to rush for over 1,000 yards and receive for over 500 yards in the same season.[50] Moreno finished the 2013 season with 1038 rushing yards and ten rushing touchdowns to go along with 60 receptions for 548 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns.[51] Moreno and the Broncos reached Super Bowl XLVIII, but lost 43–8 to the Seattle Seahawks. Moreno had five carries for 17 yards and 3 receptions for 20 yards in the loss.[52]

Miami Dolphins

On March 27, 2014, Moreno signed a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins worth $6 million.[53] In his debut with the Dolphins, despite not starting, he led the Dolphins to a 33–20 win over the New England Patriots, rushing for 146 yards on 24 carries.[54] On September 14, 2014, Moreno sustained a dislocated left elbow in a loss to the Buffalo Bills.[55] In Moreno's Week 6 return against the Green Bay Packers, he would tear his ACL, ending his 2014 season and ultimately his NFL career.[56] He put up 10 yards on six carries with one reception going for eight yards in a 27–24 losing effort that would be his final NFL game.[57] He'd finish the 2014 season with 148 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown, as well as 1 reception for 8 yards.

NFL career statistics

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2009 DEN 16 9 247 947 3.8 36 7 28 213 7.6 27 2 4 4
2010 DEN 13 13 182 779 4.3 35 5 37 372 10.1 45 3 3 2
2011 DEN 7 2 37 179 4.8 24 0 11 101 9.2 28T 1 1 1
2012 DEN 8 6 138 525 3.8 20 4 21 167 8.0 26 0 1 1
2013 DEN 16 15 241 1,038 4.3 31 10 60 548 9.1 35T 3 1 0
2014 MIA 3 0 31 148 4.8 36 1 1 8 8 8.0 0 0 0
Total 63 45 876 3,616 4.1 36 27 158 1,409 8.9 45 9 10 8


Personal life

Knowshon's first name is a portmanteau of his father's nickname, Knowledge, and his mother's name, Varashon.[59]

Moreno is a Christian. Moreno has spoken about his faith after he was seen crying after "The Star-Spangled Banner" before a 2013 game saying, "During the anthem it's always quiet and still, so I take in the moment and say a little prayer... I thank the Lord for letting me play the game. I thank Him for everything. I run through my whole life right there at that moment. Even the bad stuff."[1]


  1. ^ a b "There's a story behind Knowshon Moreno's tears". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014.
  2. ^ Strickland, Carter (September 25, 2007), "Dogs offensive line good, but not great", Atlanta Journal-Constitution, retrieved October 17, 2007, Moreno, a 5-foot-11, 173-pound native of Belford, New jersey [...] tied senior Thomas Brown with a team-leading 74 rushing yards during the Bulldogs' 26-23 overtime win.
  3. ^ Wilno, Don (September 29, 2007), "Jump gets jump on Wesley College; Sanderson helps bowl over Temple", Asbury Park Press, retrieved October 17, 2007, Redshirt freshman Knowshon Moreno, a graduate of Middletown High School South, tied senior starting kicker Thomas Brown with a 46 yard field-goal in the University of Georgia's 3-2 overtime victory over Alabama at Bryan-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
  4. ^ "Knowshon Moreno's High School Football Stats". Archived from the original on September 26, 2012.
  5. ^ "Atlanticville Sports – Page 272". GMNews Archive. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  6. ^ "Shore Conference Championships - Boys (Raw)". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  7. ^ Morris, Tim (May 17, 2005). "Moreno, Glackin, Toto stars of county meet". Independent. Archived from the original on October 20, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  8. ^ "Football coach and players of the year: Thompson, Moreno, Macaluso", Asbury Park Press, December 10, 2005, retrieved October 1, 2008, ...and has schools such as Georgia, Virginia Tech, Maryland, Florida and Oklahoma pursuing him.
  9. ^ "Knowshon Moreno, Middletown South , Running Back". 24/7 Sports. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  10. ^ "Oklahoma State at Georgia Box Score, September 1, 2007". College Football at Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  11. ^ "The Last Time: Georgia vs. South Carolina". AccessWDUN. September 17, 2015. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  12. ^ Weiszer, Marc (September 15, 2007). "Georgia hammers Western Carolina". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  13. ^ "Brandon Coutu Kicks No. 24 Georgia Past Vanderbilt 20-17 :: Georgia overcame a 10-point halftime deficit in the win". CSTV. Archived from the original on December 9, 2007. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  14. ^ Thamel, Pete (October 31, 2008). "End Zone Incident Intensifies Georgia-Florida Rivalry". New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  15. ^ Odum, Charles (November 4, 2007). "Moreno scores 3 TDs as Georgia stops Troy". Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  16. ^ "Georgia Overcomes TOs to Beat Kentucky". Associated Press. November 24, 2007. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  17. ^ "Moreno named top SEC freshman for third time this season". November 5, 2007. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  18. ^ "Knowshon Moreno 2007 Game Log". College Football at Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  19. ^ "Moreno, No. 1 Georgia beat Georgia Southern 45-21". Associated Press. September 3, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  20. ^ "COL FB: Georgia 56, Central Michigan 17". UPI. September 6, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  21. ^ Video on YouTube
  22. ^ Thamel, Pete (September 21, 2008). "Georgia Sheds Its Conservative Image in Victory Against Arizona State". New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  23. ^ Glier, Ray (September 28, 2008). "Against Georgia, Rebuilt Alabama Unveils Its Power". New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  24. ^ "No. 10 Georgia tops Tennessee". Associated Press. October 11, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  25. ^ "COL FB: Georgia 24, Vanderbilt 14". UPI. October 18, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  26. ^ "Georgia silences crowd and LSU, 52-38". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. October 26, 2008. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  27. ^ Thamel, Pete (November 1, 2008). "Florida Gets Best Revenge by Routing Georgia". New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  28. ^ "Knowshon Moreno 2008 Game Log". College Football at Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  29. ^ "Georgia's Stafford, Moreno to enter NFL draft". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on January 11, 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  30. ^ "Georgia Football Statistics". Archived from the original on September 20, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  31. ^ Brooks, Bucky (February 13, 2009). "LeSean McCoy, Knowshon Moreno lead 2009 NFL Draft RB prospects". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on February 15, 2009.
  32. ^ "Knowshon Moreno Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  33. ^ "Knowshon Moreno, Georgia, RB, 2009 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football",, retrieved December 18, 2009
  34. ^ "2009 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  35. ^ "Total Of Six Georgia Players Chosen In Annual NFL Draft - University of Georgia". Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  36. ^ "2009 NFL Draft Listing". Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  37. ^ Williamson, Bill (May 2, 2009). "Williams family OK's Moreno's request". Retrieved May 3, 2009.
  38. ^ "Broncos, first-round draft pick Moreno agree to five-year, $23 million deal".
  39. ^ "NFL: Broncos beat Raiders 23-3 for 3-0 start". September 27, 2009. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  40. ^ "Knowshon Moreno 2009 Game Log". Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  41. ^ "Knowshon Moreno 2010 Game Log". Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  42. ^ "Broncos' Moreno out for year with torn ACL". Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  43. ^ "Peyton Manning leads Denver Broncos to strong first win over Steelers". The Denver Post. September 9, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  44. ^ McLane, Jeff. "Moreno: From doghouse to go-to Bronco". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  45. ^ "Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs - November 25th, 2012". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  46. ^ "Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders - December 6th, 2012". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  47. ^ "Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens - December 16th, 2012". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  48. ^ "Knowshon Moreno 2012 Game Log". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  49. ^ "Denver Broncos at New England Patriots - November 24th, 2013". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  50. ^ Bronco Mike (December 22, 2013). "Knowshon Moreno surpasses 1K yards rushing for 1st time in career". Mile High Report. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  51. ^ "Knowshon Moreno 2013 Game Log". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  52. ^ "Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos - February 2nd, 2014". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  53. ^ "RB Knowshon Moreno signs 1-year deal with Dolphins". The Denver Post. March 27, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  54. ^ Salguero, Armando (September 7, 2014). "Dolphins beat Patriots, 33-20 to take opener". The Miami Herald. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  55. ^ Abramson, Andrew (September 15, 2014). "With RB Knowshon Moreno hurt, Miami Dolphins re-sign Daniel Thomas". The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  56. ^ "Knowshon Moreno tore his ACL, still stayed in for one more play". CBS Sports. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  57. ^ "Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins - October 12th, 2014". Retrieved March 27, 2020.
  58. ^ "Knowshon Moreno Stats". NFL Enterprises. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  59. ^ Kensler, Tom (April 26, 2009). "Broncs introduce 1st-rounders". Denver Post. Retrieved March 27, 2020.