Marcus Dupree was one of the most exciting college football prospects of all time. However, his career went awry soon after leaving the University of Oklahoma in 1983. Here’s what happened to football player Marcus Dupree and where he is now, in 2023.
Marcus Dupree was a national star as a freshman running back at the University of Oklahoma in 1982. Dupree had already displayed his supreme athletic prowess while at Philadelphia High School in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
In his senior year, he eclipsed Herschel Walker‘s national high school career touchdown record, collecting 36, giving him a total of 81.
His college career explored
Dupree would later go to the University of Oklahoma to play for Barry Switzer. He won the Big 8 Newcomer of the Year Award, was named to AP’s All-Big Eight First Team and UPI placed him on their All-Big Eight Second Team.
Dupree finished the season with 1,144 rushing yards, averaging 7.8 yards per carry. He was also the MVP of the Fiesta Bowl, rushing for 239 yards.
Marcus was featured on a Sports Illustrated cover in 1983 and his incredible running abilities were often the topic of national news broadcasts. However, his relationship with Switzer became increasingly strained.
What happened to Marcus Dupree?
In 1983, Dupree declared he’d be transferring to Southern Mississippi. However, he did not play college football again until 1985 after the NCAA ruled that Dupree would have to miss one full season after transferring.
He never actually touched the field for the Golden Eagles.
Speaking about his decision to leave Oklahoma, Dupree said in 2010: “I wish (Barry Switzer) would have treated me a little bit better.
“There was such a lack of communication. I know I shouldn’t have left [OU], but I still love Oklahoma and I still love watching [the Sooners] play.”
He instead decided to go pro with the New Orleans Breakers of the USFL in 1984, signing a five-year deal for $6 million at the age of 19.
However, Dupree suffered a career-threatening knee injury in the first game of the 1985 season for the Breakers and doctors said he’d never play football again. After five and a half years away, he attempted a comeback to the NFL in 1990 with the Los Angeles Rams.
Ultimately the knee injury prevented him from making enough of an impact and he was released by the Rams after the ’91 season.
Speaking about his injuries, Dupree said: “That’s the injury that eventually forced me out of football.
“When I recovered from the anaesthesia after my injury and surgery while with the Breakers, I looked up at my Mom. I then looked down at my knee and, literally, tore the cast off. My dreams were over.”
So, where is Marcus Dupree now, in 2023?
In 2023, Marcus Dupree is a motivational and inspirational speaker who travels doing speaking engagements. He has done speaking engagements for Novo Nordisk in the past where he discusses how he manages his Type 2 diabetes.
In 2010, an ESPN documentary titled The Best That Never Was chronicled Dupree’s playing career and eventual injury. Dupree has appeared in regional commercials including Hyundai and was cast in a 2017 feature film, One Mile to You.
He also played an overbearing dad of a young football player in the film, Life at These Speeds.
“I did enjoy acting,” Dupree said. “Hopefully, I’ll have a couple of more (movies) coming up pretty soon. We’ll see. I’m just waiting on them to give me a call.”
He is also a fan of wrestling, giving it a go full-time in the mid-1990s. Since then he reportedly returns to the ring once or twice a year.
He still wears his OU number 22 jersey when making special appearances for Crowbar Championship Wrasslin’ in Oklahoma.
Dupree also has a business, Marcus Dupree MVP College Recruiting & Consulting, which helps guide budding athletes through high school.
“We help them (and their families) travel through the college recruiting process with confidence and a peace of mind,” he says of the company.
Marcus is thought to live with girlfriend, Kim, and enjoys spending time with his family.
“I’ve got grand kids. I’m in pretty good spirits with that,” he said. “I’m just living. We’re all going to have ups and downs. It’s not how long you stay down. It’s how quick you get up.”
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