His recent 56-yard touchdown jaunt against Atlanta was one of the NFL's top highlights this season.
But the most important runs New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory made were ones nobody ever saw.
The jogs came at 2 a.m. in the snow while he attended Tiffin University, a private college in a small northern Ohio outpost. Tiffin was nothing like Ivory's hometown of Longview, Texas, let alone Washington State University, from where he transferred in 2009 after team dismissal for an off-field fight.
Ivory was playing Division II football as a Division I talent. He then suffered a knee injury. The winter came. Ivory was freezing and felt more alone than ever before.
Had he quit and returned to Longview, nobody could have blamed Ivory. But that would mean giving up on his NFL dream. So he prayed and found ways to cope. One of those mechanisms was late-night runs, followed by watching television until dawn before going back to sleep.
"I kept trying to have positive thoughts," I...