Former Syracuse Running Back Curtis Brinkley Shot, In Stable Condition

Ryan MillerCorrespondent IJuly 10, 2009

SYRACUSE, NY - NOVEMBER 30:  Potograph of group of NCAA collegiate footballs used during the game between Syracuse University and the University of Miami at the Carrier Dome on November 30, 2002 in Syracuse, New York. Miami won 49 to 7.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Former Syracuse running back and San Diego Chargers prospect Curtis Brinkley has been hospitalized after being shot in a Philadelphia suburb just after midnight.

The 23-year-old Brinkley is in stable condition at Albert Einstein Medical Center.

WVPI-TV is reporting that Brinkley is able to talk on the phone to family and friends. He suffered gunshot wounds to the shoulder and leg, which will require surgery, but are not life threatening.

The shooting occurred when Brinkley's car was stopped at an intersection. Brinkley's uncle, George Brinkley, said Brinkley was shot when picking up his sister from work. The gunman immediately fled the scene.

In the locker room at Syracuse, Curtis was the go-to guy to talk to for postgame interviews because he wore his heart on his sleeve and was a class act.

Off the field, he's one of the nicest people you'll meet.

Brinkley attended West Catholic's High School where he was a Philly phenom, setting a Philadelphia rushing record, previously held by current Chicago Bears RB Kevin Jones, compiling 7,429 yards on the ground.

Brinkley overcame a multitude of setbacks to graduate from Syracuse and ranked fourth in the Big East in rushing during his senior year. He wasn't selected in the NFL Draft, but immediately signed as free agent with the San Diego Chargers in late April.

He returned from two knee surgeries and a broken right fibula during his Orange career, and lost his father in 2006 to a bout with leukemia.

He rushed for 1,164 yards at Syracuse last year and became the first player in SU history to pile up 100 yards in five consecutive games in a single season.

Let's hope he can overcome this one and have a speedy recovery that allows him to get back on the field and pursue his NFL dream.