Dupree chose to play at the University of Oklahoma where as a freshman tailback he earned recognition as the Big Eight Conference Newcomer of the Year among other awards. But problems have been chronicled that developed in his sophomore year between himself and OU coach Barry Switzer that caused him to quit OU in favor of briefly attending the University of Southern Mississippi where oddly he didn't play a single game. A knee injury forced him to leave the United States Football League team, the New Orleans Breakers (later Portland, OR) after playing for two seasons. He then joined the Los Angeles Rams five years later until he was waived prior to the 1992 season.
The college recruiting of Dupree, a Philadelphia, Mississippi high school football player, whom Iowa State quarterback Austen Arnaud labeled a "sad story" and "the best that never was" is the subject of a book by Willie Morris titled The Courting of Marcus Dupree. Dupree also became the subject of an ESPN "30 for 30" documentary film, The Best That Never Was. A link to Dupree's confrontation with Oklahoma Sooner's Coach Barry Switzer, an article written by Douglas S. Looney in October 1983 may be found here.