Quaid takes the field for college football film

Dennis Quaid has signed on to star in "The Express," the true story of Ernie Davis, the first black player to win college football's Heisman Trophy.

Gary Fleder ("Don't Say A Word") is directing for Universal Pictures.

Davis broke college football records and racial barriers in the early 1960s playing at Syracuse University. The running back was drafted into the NFL, but his career was cut short when he was diagnosed with leukemia.

Quaid will play Davis' coach, who eventually becomes his champion. The role of Davis has not been cast.

Shooting is scheduled to begin in March.

Quaid, who most recently was seen in the political satire"American Dreamz," is shooting the romantic comedy "Smart People," with Rachel Weisz.

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