Patrick Marlatt played defensive tackle for the West Virginia Mountaineers where he looked to go into sports management, but after WVU produced an undefeated season in ’88, Marlatt was thrust into the National spotlight along with the rest of the team. He’d be selected by the New York Jets in the 1989 NFL Draft and later see a brief stay on the practice squad of the Washington Redskins. After subsequent quick stops with the Dolphins, Lions and Bills, Pat was selected by the New York/ New Jersey Knights of the WLAF in 1991. He’d rotate in for the team and lodge 27 tackles and 3 sacks during the 91 season, and 4 sacks in the 92 campaign.
After the dissolution of the WLAF’s North American teams after 1992, Patrick transitioned into the business world earning an EMDA from WVU. Working in the financial field, Pat helps people achieve their retirement goals and plans through CAPTRUST.
Although it took Pat nearly two years to respond to my letter, it was obvious that he read it as he enclosed a nice note and also wrote down the name of many of the Knights training staff that had moved on and into other fields since their days in the WLAF.
Jamie Morris is one of the smallest players to play runningback in the NFL. At a mere 5’7″, 188 he towered over opponents toting the rock for the Michigan Wolverines. He had 3 straight 1,000 yard seasons for Ann Arbor, culminating in his Senior campaign in 1987 when he had 282 carries for 1703 yards and 14 TDs. He finished his college career as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 806 carries for 4392 yards, 25 TDs and 99 receptions (also a school record) for 756 yards and 3 TDs. Jamie was selected in the 4th round of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.
Jamie made it onto the regular season roster of the Redskins, where he was designated primarily as a kick returner. Still over the course of the 16 game schedule, Morris managed to put together 126 carries for 437 yards and 2 TDs. He also returned 21 kicks for 413 yards. Jamie is perhaps best remembered by Redskins faithful as the back who set the NFL record with 45 carries (152 yards) in a 20-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in 1988. It should be noted that over his short but notable NFL career, Jamie posted a 38 carry game and a 26 carry game in 1989 as well.
Morris signed with the New England Patriots in 1990 where he served primarily as a kick returner. He finished with 11 returns for 202 yards and 2 carries for 4 yards. Afterwards Jamie joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL in 1991. He had a career high 591 yards rushing, 263 yards receiving, and 435 kick return yards.
Jamie lives in Michigan and is involved deeply with his Alma Mater. I tried writing him a few years ago care of Michigan when he was working for the Athletic Department as a development manager but had no luck. Recently some successes popped up of him through the radio station where he hosts a show talking all things Wolverines- so I decided to give him another shot on these two awesome cards. Although I was happy to finally knock this retry reply off my list, I was pained to see he knew enough about Action Packed that he should sign the card in the autograph slot on the back of the card. It is truly a beautiful card however.
Action Packed did sort of a test run in 1989 with the big two titans (ProSet and Score), but got lost in the mix. The only difference between the lesser known 89 and 90 releases is that the marquee was colored on the front of the card. The 1990 set even reused some of the photos from the previous year.
Larry Johnson was a star runningback for the Penn State Nittany Lions in 2002. He was a virtuoso out of the backfield, both catching and running for the team and truly was a man among the boys. He’d carry the ball 271 times for 2087 yards and 20 TDs- for a hefty 7.7 yards per carry clip. He’d also catch 41 passes for 349 yards and 3 more scores. He’d finish 3rd in Heisman voting that year behind Iowa QB Brad Banks and USC QB Carson Palmer.
In what was considered to be a weak runningback crop, Larry was selected 27th overall during the 2002 NFL Draft, and was the second RB off the board- after Willis McGahee.
The Chiefs have been going through a renaissance of sorts at runningback over the last 20 years or so. It pretty much started when Priest Holmes jumped into the lead role in Kansas City in 2001. After 3-4 years of solid production with a few games here and there, it was time for Larry to go from being the most solid injury insurance handcuff, to the lead back in KC.
Larry began to assert himself as the lead back in 2005. He’d earn his first of 2 Pro Bowl berths, with 336 carries for 1750 yards, and 20 TDs. Johnson also had 33 receptions for 343 yards and a TD. In 2006, Larry actually topped those numbers, leading the NFL in touches (457) and carries (416- an NFL record), run for 1789 yards and 17 TDs while catching 41 passes for 410 yards and 2 TDs. While Larry did not see the same heavy workload the rest of his career, he’d rush for 559 yards in an injury plagued campaign in 2007, and 874 yards in 2008.
After an acrimonious 2009, Larry was cut midway through the season and finished the year on the roster of the Cincinnati Bengals with 581 yards on 178 carries. During the journeyman phase of his career, Larry spent time on the rosters of the Redskins (2010) and the Miami Dolphins (2011), before finally deciding to retire.
After Curt Warner’s run for glory in Seattle, Penn State had a really bad run of backs come out in the first round who just didn’t make the cut. DJ Dozier, Blair Thomas, Ki-Jana Carter, and Curtis Enis come straight to mind. It wasn’t until 2005, when LJ had his first impact season, that the ‘Penn St Curse’ of runningbacks to come out of college to the pros was lifted.
Johnson has had multiple brushes with the law, possibly due to CTE, as he fits all the hallmarks for the disease. Larry’s done some articles and been interviewed about it- and I feel absolutely terrible for him. I wrote him back in 2014, but did not get a response. This time around he signed these cards pretty promptly.
These are some great cards of Larry that I really liked. The Pacific, while very plain looking is classy and elegant. Upper Deck assumed stewardship of the brand in its final days and really sent them out on a nice, high note. The Upper Deck 2009 has clear and strong photography. The framing and color feels like it was inspired by the Upper Deck Legends 1997 set. – And of course, I can never get enough of the Score 2009 set. It just could’ve used a little sports photo blur on the background, as the expression of that guy with the Patriots sweater on is a bit distracting.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.