- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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They’ve been competing against each other since high school.
Who had the edge then? Depends on whom you ask.
“If you ask Ryan, I’m sure he probably did,” Morris said. “But that was a preseason game. During the regular season, we’re both 1-1.”
Who has the edge now? TBD.
Morris and his good friend Williams are both competing to be Miami’s starting quarterback this fall, and both are tired of watching from the sideline. Williams, a transfer from Memphis, had to sit out last year because of NCAA transfer rules. Morris took the backseat to former starter Jacory Harris, who won his job back last year after missing the season opener against Maryland because of the NCAA investigation. Morris has the edge in experience, but he missed spring practices to recover from a back injury. Williams took advantage of the extra snaps, but the competition will continue throughout summer camp.
“Me and Ryan have been together forever,” Morris said. “We came in in the same class and went through Nike camp together, and played against each other a couple of times. It’s definitely a lot more funnier, just because we go against each other with our records we had in high school and stuff like that.
“Just knowing Ryan and where he comes from, and knowing he has a great family, a great relationship with his parents, and a great relationship with my parents as well, it just makes things more comfortable,” Morris said. “At the same time, the flip side is that it could be a little more personal. But at the end of the day, we’re all going for the same position and we’re all behind each other.”
Morris, who had optional back surgery before spring practices began, said he has felt no lingering effects and that he has been able to do everything the coaches have since asked of him. It’s been a while, though, since he was leading the offense.
Morris played in five games and started one last season, the opener against Maryland. He completed 26-of-37 passes (70.3 percent) with no touchdowns and two interceptions. As a freshman, Morris played in six games and started four when Harris suffered a concussion. He threw for 1,240 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions.
While at Memphis in 2010, Williams started 10 of 12 games and completed 165 of 290 passes for 2,075 yards and 13 touchdowns. In the spring game, he completed 15 of 27 passes for 167 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.
“It was a lot of fun, but it was a big learning experience for me, being able to go out there and run the offense, getting a lot of reps and just getting back on the field after sitting out a year,” Williams said. “I feel like I did pretty good. … If I go out and do what I’m supposed to and do what I’m capable of, I feel like I have a pretty good chance to win the job.”
So far, though, they’re both still even at 1-1 in this competition.
8hDan Murphy and Mitch Sherman