Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports
It’s homecoming week at the University of Minnesota, with the Ohio Bobcats coming in to take on the Golden Gophers on Saturday afternoon. With the school’s all-time leading rusher, Darrell Thompson, working the game as a radio analyst for KFAN (100.3 FM) a man that is below him on that list will also be in attendance on Saturday.
Former Gophers’ running back Laurence Maroney, the second-leading rusher in Golden Gophers’ history, will be recognized on Saturday.
Maroney finished his three seasons (2003-2005) at Minnesota with 3,933 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns, which has him behind only Thompson (4,654 rushing yards from 1986-1989) among Golden Gophers’ rushers. In 2003 and 2004, when their careers overlapped, Maroney and fellow future NFL running back Marion Barber III formed one of the top backfield duos in the country. Barber is fourth on the Golden Gophers’ all-time rushing list, with 3,276 yards from 2001-2004.
The New England Patriots took Maroney with the 21st overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He spent his first four NFL seasons (2006-2009) with the Patriots, before being traded to the Denver Broncos early in the 2010 season and playing four games there that season. The Broncos did not bring Maroney back for the 2011 season, and his career ended when he got no serious interest from other teams.
As part of homecoming festivities surrounding the game, I would think that Maroney is among a group of past Golden Gophers’ football players being honored on Saturday. Still, fans will surely enjoy seeing him be acknowledged for his contributions on the field.
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