Former Eastern Michigan University football running back/punt returner Marcus Mathews passed away Wednesday at the age of 48, the university announced in a press release Friday morning.
Mathews graduated from Cooley High School in his hometown of Detroit, Mich. before joining the EMU football team in 1982. He played as a freshman before missing the 1983 season due to injuries. He returned to the field in 1984 to start all 11 contests, leading the then-Hurons with 19 receptions for 251 yards, the release stated.
In 1985, Mathews led the Mid-American Conference in punt returning with a 12.1 yards per return average. He also had 21 catches for 322 yards and a touchdown, good for third on the team.
In 1986, his final season, Mathews played in all 11 games, catching 20 passes for 425 yards and a team-high five scores. He also ran 15 times for 171 yards and no scores, according to totalfootballstats.com.
Mathews totaled 65 receptions for 1,037 yards and scored seven touchdowns in his time at Eastern.
Most recently, according to the release, Mathews worked for Ford Motor Company and was a UAW bargaining representative.
Visitation is scheduled from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at Howe-Peterson Funeral Home, 9800 Telegraph Rd, Taylor, MI 48180. The celebration of life is at 4 p.m. with a dinner to follow at the UAW Region 1A Hall.
Follow Al Willman on Twitter: @AlWillmanEcho