Ex-Nebraska and NFL Running Back Lawrence Phillips Suspected of Murdering Prison Cellmate

Arguably the most talented running back to ever play at Nebraska has once again been accused of a horrific crime.

Lawrence Phillips, former Nebraska star and NFL running back, is being accused of killing his prison cellmate in California. The 39-year-old is currently serving a 31-year sentence for choking his girlfriend, twice, in 2005 in San Diego, then in the same year, driving his car into a group of teenagers after a football game in Los Angeles.

Damion Soward, Phillips' cellmate, was found dead early Saturday morning. He was serving an 82-year sentence for being convicted of first-degree murder.

Phillips played for Nebraska in the mid-90's, making headlines for not only his stellar play on the field, but also his crimes off the field. Many heralded Phillips as the "next great" running back for the elite 90's Husker teams, while others wondered how he kept being able to see the field after being convicted of multiple crimes, such as assault, vandalism, accepting money from an agent, and then finally, assault on his girlfriend. This made national news because then Nebraska head coach, Tom Osborne, decided to reinstate Phillips after having suspending him for the assault.

Osborne took a lot of flack for the decision, but he knew had he abandoned Phillips, it would have led Lawrence on a darker path, like we are currently seeing. So Osborne let him back on the team, and he helped Nebraska win the 1995 national championship, after also winning it the year before.

Osborne recommended Phillips turn pro after his Junior year, so he did. He spent time with the St. Louis Rams, but was released in 1997 for insubordination. Phillips also played for the San Fransisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins.



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