Knowshon Rockwell Moreno (born July 16, 1987 in Belford, New Jersey) is an American football running back for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. He was selected 12th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Broncos. He played college football at the University of Georgia. Knowshon’s first name is a combination of his father’s nickname Knowledge and his mothers name Varashon.
High school years
Moreno grew up in Belford, New Jersey. At Middletown High School South he led his team to three Central Jersey Group III championships. He rushed for 1,629 yards on 153 carries and scored 28 TDs in 11 games as a senior. He finished his high school career with 6,268 career rushing yards, 128 touchdowns, and 728 points. His rushing yards are second all-time in New Jersey high school ranks, while he is New Jersey’s all-time leading scorer. He also rushed for 420 yards and 7 touchdowns in one game against the Neptune Scarlet Fliers. He also rushed for 6 touchdowns against the Monmouth Regional Falcons. He was the #10 running back and #73 prospect according to Rivals.com, #9 running back according to Scout.com, and was a PrepStar 200 selection. He was also an EA Sports All-American while being recruited by Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Florida. Moreno eventually signed his letter of intent to Georgia.
Moreno redshirted in 2006, but returned in 2007 as a redshirt freshman. After a great spring, Moreno shared time with Thomas Brown as the starting running back in the season opener against Oklahoma State. Moreno totaled 70 yards on 20 carries with two receptions for 51 yards in the 35-14 win. In the following game against South Carolina, Moreno saw most of the rushing duties with 14 carries for 104 yards in the 12-16 loss. In the third game of the season against Western Carolina, Moreno scored his first career college touchdown in the 45-16 win. His totals on the day were 94 yards on 13 rushes with one touchdown.
Entering the Bulldogs’ game against Vanderbilt, it was announced that Georgia’s starting tailback Thomas Brown would be sidelined with a broken collarbone. Moreno was elevated to starting tailback in Brown’s place and responded with 157 yards gained on the ground in a tight 20-17 Bulldog win.
In the following week, he continued his impressive season with 188 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 33 carries as Georgia defeated its rival, Florida. Against Troy the next game, Moreno rushed for 196 yards, joining Herschel Walker as the only player in Georgia history to rush for 1,000 yards in his freshman season.
Moreno rushed for over 100 yards for the fifth straight game in leading the Georgia Bulldogs to a 24-13 victory over Kentucky while totaling 124 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. Moreno is the first Georgia tailback since Herschel Walker in 1982 to rush for over 100 yards in five straight games.
Through the first ten weeks of the 2007 season, Moreno was named the SEC Freshman of the Week three times and SEC Offensive Player of the Week once. He was also named onto the all-SEC first team and was the unanimous SEC Freshman of the Year.
Moreno finished the season with 1,334 yards on 248 carries for 14 touchdowns. He also added 253 receiving yards on 20 receptions.
Knowshon Moreno began his sophomore campaign as a Heisman Trophy favorite. He opened the season with 59 yards on 8 carries for 3 touchdowns and 53 yards on two receptions for a total of 112 yards and 3 touchdowns in the 45-21 win over Georgia Southern. In the following 56-17 win over Central Michigan, Moreno rushed 18 times for 168 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had 3 receptions for 30 yards, totaling 198 yards of total offense in the win. The game also provided Moreno with his highlight reel’s iconic moment: a hurdle over an upright CMU defender. In the SEC opener for the Bulldogs against South Carolina, Moreno had 20 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown in the 14-7 win. Next, Moreno and the Bulldogs traveled to Arizona to defeat Arizona State 27-10, led by his 149 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
However, the Bulldogs undefeated record was broken in a 41-30 loss to Alabama. In the loss, Moreno was held to 34 yards and a score on 9 carries. It marked the first time on the season that he was held under 50 yards rushing and 50 yards of total offense. However, Moreno bounced back in the 26-14 win over Tennessee with 101 yards on 27 carries. However, Moreno was held out of the endzone for the first time on the season.
Georgia then defeated Vanderbilt 24-14 to improve their record to 6-1, with Moreno rushing 23 times for a season-high 172 yards and a touchdown. Moreno added onto his season totals in the 52-38 victory against LSU with 163 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Moreno’s totals in the two-week effort was 335 yards and two touchdowns on only 44 carries.
However, Georgia was handed their second conference loss in a 49-10 bout against Florida, in which Moreno was held to 65 yards on 17 carries.
He finished the 2008 season with 1,792 yards of total offense (1,400 rushing on 250 carries and 392 yards on 33 receptions) and scored 18 touchdowns (16 rushing, 2 receiving). He was named the team’s offensive MVP. On January 7, 2009, Moreno announced that he would enter the 2009 NFL Draft.
At the end of his freshman season, Knowshon Moreno was the unanimous SEC Freshman of the Year, as well as the featured tailback on the Freshman All-American first team, All-SEC first team, SEC All-Freshman team. Moreno was also the Sporting News’ Freshman Offensive Player of the Year.
Moreno finished second in Doak Walker award voting, behind Shonn Greene. He was also named 1st team All-SEC for the second consecutive year, and was a second-team All-American selection.
Moreno was drafted by the Denver Broncos, which was their first of 2 first round picks in the 2009 NFL Draft with the 12th overall pick. Moreno will wear jersey number 27 of the late Darrent Williams. He got permission from William’s mother Rosalind. She agreed on one condition, Knowshon must volunteer a couple of hours per month at the Darrent Williams Teen Center.