Larry Morris
No. 31, 33, 55
Position:Linebacker
Personal information
Born:(1933-12-10)December 10, 1933
Atlanta
Died:December 19, 2012(2012-12-19) (aged 79)
Austell, Georgia
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:226 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school:Decatur (GA)
College:Georgia Tech
NFL Draft:1955 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Career history
Career highlights and awards

Larry Cleo Morris (December 10, 1933 – December 19, 2012) was an American football linebacker. The 1950 graduate of Decatur High School became an All-American at Georgia Tech before his career in the NFL. "The Brahma Bull" was named one of the linebackers on the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team. He was sentenced to probation for his role in the Savings and loan crisis.

College career

Morris was a four-year starter and a two-way player at center and linebacker positions for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Morris was also selected as three times first-team All-SEC and a team captain as a senior. He played during coach Bobby Dodd's most successful seasons at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets had a 40-5-2 record over Morris’ four seasons, won two SEC titles, four bowl games and a share of the 1952 national championship with a 12–0 record. In his final game as a Yellow Jacket against rival Georgia in Athens on November 27, 1954, he played the entire game and was credited with 24 tackles as his team won 7–3. He was later named to the All-SEC 25-year team spanning 1950–1974 and in 1992 was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, one of 12 Tech players there.[1][2]

Professional career

Morris was the seventh overall pick of the 1955 NFL draft. He was named one of the linebackers on the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team. Morris played 12 seasons total with the Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, and Atlanta Falcons. He was the MVP of the 1963 NFL Championship Game for the Bears. In addition, he was a member of the Atlanta Falcons' first team in 1966.[3]

Savings & Loan crisis conviction

Morris was indicted and received probation during the Savings and loan crisis. As a licensed Atlanta real estate agent, two top corporate executives of First Mutual Savings in Pensacola, Florida, took illegal kickbacks causing his condos and rehabs loans to go bad.[4][5]

Health concerns

Morris was featured in an article in The Sporting News about former football players who had head injuries that happened during their career. According to the article, Morris had little, if any, recollection of his playing days.[6][7]

Death

Larry Cleo Morris died on December 19, 2012. A native Atlantan, he spent his last few years, since 2009, under nursing home care, at Presbyterian Village, in the city of Austell, Georgia.[8] His brain was donated by his family to Boston University for the study of brain injuries associated with former professional football players.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ Ken Sugiura (2012-12-21). "Tech Legend Larry Morris dies". ajc.com. Archived from the original on 2012-12-30. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
  2. ^ "The Greatest 25 Tech Athletes Of The Century – Nomination Bios". ramblinwreck.com. Archived from the original on 2016-09-18. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  3. ^ Ralph Ellis and Hunt Archbold (2012-12-21). "Georgia Tech Football Great Larry Morris Dies". midtown.patch.com. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
  4. ^ "'63 Bears star Larry Morris: His last, difficult years".
  5. ^ "FAVORITE S&L FELONIES - November 5, 1990".
  6. ^ Matt Crossman (2011-07-11). "John Mackey and other retired NFL players experience living hell". sportingnews.com. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
  7. ^ Mayer, Larry (2012-12-21). "Defense gearing up to face rookie QB". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  8. ^ "In Memoriam". 8 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Larry Morris (1933-2012) - Find a Grave Memorial".