University of Missouri

Missouri running back Morgan Steward retires from football

Former Missouri Tigers running back Morgan Steward.
Former Missouri Tigers running back Morgan Steward.

Missouri running back Morgan Steward, who would have been a redshirt senior next fall, has retired from football, a team spokesman confirmed.

Steward, a Staley graduate and Kansas City native appeared in only three games during the last two seasons after suffering a hip injury Aug. 8, 2014, during the Tigers’ fall camp.

Initially, the injury was described as minor, but it was slow to heal and eventually required surgery in November 2014. Former Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel described the injury as a bone chip at that time.

Steward described the injury in greater detail last August, after he was cleared to resume workouts and as he remained a limited practice participant.

“There’s not really a specific name (for my hip injury), there was kind of a unique injury of its own,” Steward said during 2015 camp. “Really, my hip joint popped out of place, I tore things around it and some of the bone.”

By the end of camp, Steward worked his way back to full contact and appeared in the Tigers’ first three games, totaling 10 carries for 18 yards, before Pinkel announced Sept. 28 that he would be shut down for the season.

The plan was to petition the NCAA for a medical exemption, which would have granted Steward an additional year of eligibility after missing two seasons due to the hip injury.

As a redshirt freshman in 2013, Steward totaled 21 carries for 84 yards with a touchdown. He finished his Missouri career with 31 carries for 102 yards and a score.

Steward graduated from Staley as the program’s leading rusher, totaling 4,184 yards and 46 touchdowns in 52 games. He helped the Falcons win the Missouri Class 5A championship in 2011 as a senior.

Steward, who rushed for 2,221 yards and 27 touchdowns with another 376 yards and two scores receiving, was the 5A offensive player of the year that season.

During spring football in 2014, Steward was chosen as the Tigers’ most-improved running back. He clocked a 4.35-second 40-yard dash that spring and impressed with 130 yards and three touchdowns in Mizzou’s first scrimmage.

He was a three-star recruit coming out of Staley with an offer from Northern Illinois also in hand. Rivals ranked him as the No. 6 player in Missouri and No. 28 running back in the 2012 recruiting class, while ESPN pegged him No. 13 in the state and No. 42 overall.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer