Dead at 54: Ex-NFL Player Mosi Tatupu
Former USC, Patriots star had multiple health issues
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2010 8:34 AM CST
Mosi Tatupu, then with the Patriots, rushes against the Jets in this 1985 file photo.   (Patriots.com)

(Newser) – Longtime pro football running back Mosi Tatupu died yesterday at age 54 in his native Hawaii of as yet unknown causes. A close family friend tells the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that he “had some health issues,” including high-blood pressure and other ailments. Tatupu, a tough player known for his special teams and blocking prowess, will go down as one of the greatest athletes in Hawaii’s history.

After a successful career at USC, he was drafted by the Patriots, where he played from 1978 to 1990, making the Pro Bowl in 1986. When he retired in 1991, he held the NFL record for most games by a running back with 199. Patriots fans loved him, honoring him with a special cheering section called “Mosi’s Mooses.”