The state of Michigan has produced outstanding quarterback talent in the last 15 years, from Drew Henson and Drew Stanton to Devin Gardner and Robert Bolden. The next great quarterback in the state of Michigan may be in the class of 2013, and he received his first scholarship offer earlier this week.
The buzz on quarterback Shane Morris started even before his sophomore season at Warren DeLaSalle this past fall. The 6-3, 185-pound passer is still growing and developing, but he already possesses the arm strength and mechanics that forecast outstanding future potential. Cincinnati was the first to make their interest in the sophomore standout official.
"Cincinnati offered on Monday afternoon," Morris said. "It's an honor and feels really great to be able to go to college and play football.
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"Coach Tim Banks called [the school] and offered and I talked to him last night. They came down and watched me at a camp and I stayed in contact with them. I sent them a highlight tape and my coaches had been talking to them a little bit."
Morris is in the early stages of his evaluation of schools, but he has been finding out more about the Bearcats since they tendered an offer.
"I heard they are a great program and have great tradition there," Morris said. "I really don't know much, but I am looking forward to learning a lot more and visiting them."
The programs that Morris is most familiar with are those in his home state. He grew up a fan of one Big Ten program in Michigan, but is starting to appreciate the other more each day.
"My family, we were big Michigan fans growing up, but I've been talking to State a lot and I really like State, so it's been changing a little bit," Morris said. "I just love the atmosphere around there every time I go down. I feel like I am welcomed there and the coaches are great people."
Michigan may have been less of an option for Morris when Rich Rodriguez was head coach and running his read-option offense in Ann Arbor, but now that the Wolverines have brought in Brady Hoke to lead the team and Morris will be watching his boyhood favorite closely in the coming years.
"I think [Hoke] is a great coach," Morris said. "I went down to the Ball State camp right after he left and led them to an undefeated season. I watched the highlight tape from that year, and I love what he runs. I've been watching his press conference and he seems like a great guy."
Morris is already receiving mailings from schools across the country. He recently sent his highlight film out to more than 30 schools, and maintains an open stance to his recruitment.
"My mind is still open and I'm not leaning towards any [school]," he said. "I just want to find out a lot more about the schools."
As a sophomore, Morris completed 102 of 180 pass attempts for 1,150 yards with 14 touchdowns against five interceptions. He took little time off following the season, and is already preparing for next fall.
"My quarterbacks coach has been working with a lot of quarterbacks like Devin Gardner, [Joe] Boisture and Bolden. I've been working with him all winter and will into the spring," Morris said. "Then I've just been lifting a lot and hope to get down to more camps in the summer."