The year before Herschel Walker had broken ground in professional football by being an underclassman who was signed to a pro contract before his collegiate eligibility had been exhausted.  If Walker had stuck his foot in the door, Dupree broke it down.  A high school phenom from Philadelphia, Mississippi, Dupree played his brief collegiate career at Oklahoma but disputes with head coach Barry Switzer lead him to transfer to Southern Mississippi.

Told by the NCAA he'd have to sit out for two years, Dupree, just 19, bucked the system and signed with the USFL's New Orleans Breakers.  Missing the Breakers entire pre-season, he still ran for 684 yards and 9 touchdowns while sharing backfield chores with Buford Jordan.  But as so many shooting stars, Dupree quickly faded from view.  A knee injury in 1985 resulted in two operations, sidelining him through most of the next five years.  The L.A. Rams, who drafted him in 1986 on the off-chance his knees recovered, signed him in 1990, but in two years there he played in just 15 games, rushing for a total of 251 yards.

Following his playing days Dupree returned to his hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi, where he remains active in business interests and local sports. 

MARCUS DuPREE

New Orleans/Portland Breakers

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