- Amos Zereoue
number=21, 28, 31
birthdate=birth date and age|1976|10|8
New England Patriots(2005)
Amos Zereoué (born
October 8, 1976in Waterford, New York) is a former African American footballplayer in the National Football League, last playing for the New England Patriots. During his college career Zereoué played for West Virginia Universitybefore being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelersas the 95th pick of the 1999 NFL Draft. He now owns and operates a restaurant in Manhattan, NY, called "Zereoués".
High school years
Wellington C. Mepham High Schoolin Bellmore, New Yorkand was a letterman in football. Zereoué set Long Islandrecords of 5,360 yards and 59 touchdowns at Mepham, earning Street & SmithAll-America recognition. He was also the first two-time Thorpe Award winner in high school, which recognizes the the best player in Nassau County. Amos lived in a group home during his high school years. He came from a troubled background.
Amos Zereoué was a late addition to the West Virginia University roster in 1996, but made an immediate impact. On Zereoué's first collegiate carry, he rushed the ball for a 69 yard touchdown against Pitt. In that same season, Zereoué finished the season with two of the school's five-best single-game rushing performances (234 yards against Notre Dame and 228 yards against
Rutgers). He was unanimously voted the Big EastRookie of the Year after the season and was a first-team all-Big East selection. He also set a West Virginia freshman rushing record for a season with 1,035 rushing yards, which was later broken by his successor, Avon Cobourne(who broke Zereoue's career rushing records as well).
Zereoué was tenth in the 1997 Heisman race and was a
Doak Walker Awardsemifinalist. He was a third-team All-Americanselection and was voted all-Big East and first-team All-ECAC selection as well. Zereoué also led the conference and set a school single-season rushing record with 1,589 yards on 281 carries. His 18 touchdowns on the season was one shy of the WVU record. He was ranked third on the season with 150 yards per game.
He was also a second-team All-American selection in 1998 by leading the team with 1,462 yards and 13 touchdowns on 283 carries. He was also ranked sixth in the nation with 143 yards per game in '98.
During his college career he rushed for over 100 yards 21 times, had seven straight games with over 100 yards rushing. At the time of leaving, he held the all-time WVU rushing yardage with 4,086 and held the record at WVU for the most yards in a season with 1,589 in 1997. Both records were broken by his successor at running back,
Avon Cobourne. While at WVU Zereoué's nickname was "Famous Amos".
Pittsburgh Steelers (1999-2003)
Zereoué was selected in the third round, 95th overall of the
1999 NFL Draftby the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had acquired future-Hall of Famer Jerome Bettisfrom the St. Louis Ramsfour years earlier in 1996. Zereoué got good playing time in his five seasons in Pittsburgh from 1999 to 2003. His best season came in 2002, when he rushed for a career-high 762 yards and four touchdowns. Also in 2002, Zereoué caught a career-high 42 receptions for 341 yards. In his years in Pittsburgh, Zereoué rushed for 1,698 yards and seven touchdowns.
Oakland Raiders (2004)
After the 2003 season, Zereoué was cut by the Steelers. He was then signed as a free-agent by the
Oakland Raiders. Tyrone Wheatley ended up getting the starting job for 2004, but Zereoué saw time on the field as well. He rushed for 425 yards and three touchdowns in his one season in Oakland, before he was cut with the arrival of LaMont Jordanfrom the New York Jets.
New England Patriots (2005)
After being cut by the Raiders, Zereoué spent his final
NFLseason with the New England Patriots. Zereoué spent time playing backup to veteran Corey Dillon, but he only ran the ball seven times on the season for 14 yards. Zereoué then was cut by the Patriots as well, and eventually retired.
In his 7-year career, Amos Zereoué rushed for 2,137 yards with 10 touchdowns. He also caught 137 receptions for 1,111 yards and a touchdown. He also had seven kick returns for 169 yards.
Amos opened an African/French restaurant in Manhattan called Zereoué. The restaurant is located at 13 East 37th Street (Between 5th and Madison) in New York City.
Zereoué Restaurant [http://www.zereoue.com]
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