Former Wisconsin Badgers running back, Rose Bowl MVP Brent Moss dies

MADISON — Brent Moss, who helped Racine Park High School win the state’s WIAA Division I football title in 1988 and lead Wisconsin to the Big Ten title in 1993 and victory over UCLA in the 1994 Rose Bowl, died on Sunday.

He was 50 years old.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

It’s sad,” said Steve Stark, who was the right guard on the 1993 team. “It really is.”

He left Moss Park for 4,678 yards and 78 touchdowns. His last high school game was a 34-31 overtime loss to Waukesha South in the 1989 Division I National League semifinals.

Moss played over three seasons in the UW after sitting out the 1990 season.

He rushed 61 times for 219 yards as a freshman in 1991 and then improved to 739 yards on 165 yards as a sophomore in 1992.

Brent Moss teamed up with Terrell Fletcher to help the Badgers take a share of the Big Ten title in 1993

Moss and teammate Terrell Fletcher helped the UW breakout in 1993 under coach of the year 4, Barry Alvarez.

Moss rushed 312 times for 1,637 yards, averaging 5.2 yards per carry, 16 touchdowns and was named Big Ten MVP as he finished UW 6-1-1 in the Big Ten and shared the title with Ohio State.

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Moss capped the 1993 season by dashing for 158 yards and two touchdowns in a UW 21-16 win over UCLA in the Rose Bowl. He was called the MVP and Alvarez often said if he had to pick one tail to turn a crucial short-term situation into a first down he would pick Moss.

Fletcher rushed 165 times for 996 yards, averaging 6.0 yards per carry, and nine touchdowns.

“Brent and Terrell were great tackles, and they were both so much fun to play with,” said Stark, who was a sophomore in 1993.

Fletcher wrote on Twitter:

“RIP Brent Moss…we did something in our day. I hate that we didn’t become friends in time Appreciate our magic. But we worked out in time. I was one of the best who ever did. Respect. #RIP #RosebowlMVP #RBU #OnWisconsin #teammates “

Moss appeared destined for a great big season in 1994 and possibly a career in the NFL.

That all changed in November, however, when Moss was arrested for possession of cocaine and later stopped by Alvarez.

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Moss was not selected in the NFL draft, but he did spend time with dolphins and rams

Moss finished the season with 833 yards and eight touchdowns on 156 coaches and was not selected in the 1995 NFL Draft.

He was invited to Miami Dolphins training camp in 1995 but was cut short. He signed with the St. Louis Rams and carried 22 times for 90 yards but was cut during training camp in 1996.

Moss had brief stints in the Major League Soccer, Arena Football League, and XFL.

He struggled with drug problems and was arrested several times. In 2017, he was sentenced to one year in prison and one year in extended supervision on a felony charge of cocaine possession.

“I didn’t know about any of those things until after they happened,” Stark said. “I just knew him as a really good person and a guy who worked hard every day and really cares about football and his teammates.

“Most people only see Brent for what happened in his senior year, all things off the field. I don’t think many people know how good a guy he was. The people who knew him knew he had his problems, but he was first and foremost a good guy.”

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Moss played a key role in the Wisconsin Rose Bowl’s victory over UCLA

Moss has always spoken fondly of the 1993 season and victory over UCLA in Pasadena. Stark was asked to share his memories.

He said, “If I’m being honest, thinking of Barry Alvarez sitting in my living room when I was a sophomore in high school made me believe we’d be there.

“And then just the feeling of having all these people on that court from Wisconsin. Those are the things I remember the most.

“I remember a few bits and pieces from the game but most of the time I remember the Red Sea on the field and the feeling: great, we just went from 1-10 to this in a couple of years. That was pretty cool.”

Moss starred in this transformation.

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