Position: Running Back
- Penn State University (’95-’97)
- Chicago Bears (’98-’00)
- Two 1,000+ yard seasons at Penn State, including 1,369 yards and 19 TDs in 1997
- 6th in Heisman Trophy voting in 1997
- 5th overall pick of the 1998 NFL Draft
- Played just 3 years in the NFL, retiring after the 2000 season because of knee problems
- Best NFL season was 1999 when he rushed for 916 yards and 3 TDs
- Considered one of the biggest draft busts of the decade
Curtis Enis chose to attend Penn State after a standout career at Mississinawa Valley High School in Ohio, where he was a Parade All-American and Ohio’s Mr. Football (state’s best player). It wasn’t an easy transition, however. In high school, Enis spent more time getting drunk and smoking dope than he did doing homework, and his senior transcript was littered with D’s and F’s. He didn’t even bother taking the SAT. As a result, Coach Paterno made him attend The Kiski School in rural Pennsylvania for a year before enrolling at Penn State. At The Kiski School, Enis was able to get the grades and SAT score he needed to qualify.
There is a rather comical recruiting story surrounding Enis. Many Ohio State fans were upset that he chose to leave the state to attend college, but who could blame him? Ohio State’s initial recruiting letters to Enis addressed him as “Curtis Phenis”, then they fixed the last name but botched the first name and began addressing him as “Chris Enis”. When Enis took a visit to Ohio State’s campus, no one seemed to know who he was.
At Penn State, Enis played 3 seasons and rushed for over 1,000 yards in two of them. At 6’0″, 235 lbs., Enis was a quite a load at running back. He earned All-American honors his junior year at Penn State and finished 6th in voting for the 1997 Heisman Trophy. He decided to leave school after that season and enter the 1998 NFL Draft, where he was selected 5th overall by the Bears.
Enis lasted just 3 seasons in the NFL, rushing for 1,497 yards in his career and scoring only 4 touchdowns. The Bears released him after the 2000 season and Enis decided to retire, citing knee problems stemming from a 1998 ACL injury. (Enis’ career statistics)
On July 4, 1998, shortly after he was drafted by the Bears, Enis gave a shocking and rather bizarre speech at his wedding, which is documented in a Sports Illustrated article from August of that year. It’s a real interesting read. (Link)
Another rather interesting read is an article published in The Sporting News in 1997, from which much of the above information about Enis’ pre-Penn State life is gathered. The outlook for Enis in the article is so rosy, it’s a little depressing knowing the actual outcome of his pro career. (Link)
Gotta love RFP’s with Starting Lineup figures. I’m gonna start collecting those:
According to a blog entry titled “What the Hell Happened to Curtis Enis”, Enis was last seen attending Edison State Community College in order to join the Ohio Basic Peace Officer Academy.
Don’t forget to pick up your Curtis Enis autographed photo.
Curtis Enis against Ohio State: