Monday, October 3, 2011
Get Familiar: Alec Morris
By Jon Mahoney
Allen (Texas) QB Alec Morris has gone from a player without any offers to an Alabama commitment in a matter of months.
Alec Morris was enjoying a meal with his buddies this spring at In-N-Out Burger when an unfamiliar number popped up on his cell. Morris decided to pick it up anyway and he’s glad he did — it was Wake Forest calling to offer him a football scholarship.
It was the first offer for Morris, who entered the spring as a relative unknown among the nation’s top quarterbacks. But after strong performances at camps and 7-on-7 tournaments, the Allen (Allen, Texas) senior signal-caller started to receive interest from BCS programs. First it was Wake, where he committed in July. Then came an offer from North Texas. And a couple of weeks after pledging to Wake, he received the big one — Alabama.
Morris, who wears No. 2 because of Atlanta Falcons star QB Matt Ryan, eventually switched his commitment to the Crimson Tide just a few weeks before the start of his senior season. Now, the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder is enjoying a terrific year for the Eagles. Through five games, he’s thrown for 1,357 yards and 19 touchdowns while leading Allen to the No. 3 spot in this week’s POWERADE FAB 50 ESPNHS Team Rankings.
So what should viewers expect from this star signal-caller? It’s time to Get Familiar with Alex Morris.
ESPNHS: What’s it like playing high school football in Texas?
Morris: It’s kind of a normal thing for me. It’s a lot more hyped up than anything else. Fans get really into it. Last year, I was really super nervous before every game. Going into this year, I didn’t think I would be as nervous, but I’ve been just as nervous. I still get butterflies in my stomach. But I settle down once the game starts.
ESPNHS: What does playing for Allen represent?
Morris: It’s hard work. Schools are taken aback by what we do. We come in on Saturday mornings the day after the game to watch film and lift. We have the best coaching staff in the state. They’ll point you in the right direction; you just have to go out and do it. It’s definitely an amazing program to play for.
ESPNHS: How do you deal with the newfound attention?
Morris: Football consumes a lot of the time I have, so when I’m off I like to hang out with my friends. We go to TopGolf, which has a triple-deck driving range. There’s nothing else like it. All my friends don’t treat me any differently. I never really liked to be that guy who commanded the attention. It’s just not my personality. If we win, it’s all good. If we lose and I put up 400 yards and 5 TDs, I’m going to be pissed off. It’s never been about personal recognition for me.
ESPNHS: What was it like receiving your first scholarship offer?
Morris: Two years ago, it didn’t even cross my mind that I would play college football, let alone Alabama. Once I started realizing I could play college football, it took off. I got my first offer when I was with my friends at In-N-Out Burger. Wake Forest called and offered me a scholarship. I was super excited. It’s definitely something I’m going to remember for a long time.
ESPNHS: What led you to switch from Wake Forest to Alabama?
Morris: There’s no better place to play than Alabama. Alabama was a pretty big opportunity. Twenty years down the road, I didn’t want to second-guess myself for having turned down a premier program.
ESPNHS: Do you feel like you’re underrated compared to the rest of the nation’s quarterbacks?
Morris: I could care less about individual rankings. Right now, I’m committed to one of the nation’s top football teams, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I don’t pay attention to the forums or the articles. I just know I have to go out on Friday night and help my team win. I was a relative unknown to the Alabama community. My quarterback coach, Kevin Murray, told me to stay within myself and the offers would come.
ESPNHS: Are you bummed you won’t get to play in Allen’s new stadium next year? (Note: Allen will open its $60 million athletic complex during the 2012 season)
Morris: I look at it that I get to finish out in a stadium that has a lot of tradition. It’s going to be a sad thing when we play our last game there.
FAVORITES TV Show: “South Park” & “Family Guy”
Movie: “The Hangover”
Musical Artist: The Devil Wears Prada
Team: Atlanta Falcons
School Subject: Aquatic Science
NEXT UP: Allen plays Plano East (Plano, Texas) this Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2
Jon Mahoney covers football for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know which high school football player he should Get Familiar with.