Morris, a 6-foot-4, 265 pound defensive lineman with a 4.87 personal best 40 time, picked Duke over early interest from Northwestern, Nebraska, Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt. He had previously visited Durham two other times.
But this time was a little bit different. The Blue Devil coaches, who had been preaching turnaround and momentum in their recruiting pitches, were able to put a team on the field that beat a traditional ACC powerhouse and take control of the ACC Coastal division race. However, that validation was only part of the decision making process for Morris.
"It's great to see the strong work Coach Cutcliffe and the coaches have been doing with the Duke program, but I'm more validated by the interest and caring the coaches have shown me throughout the recruiting process. I don't feel like just another number to them…they are genuine."
Still, the on the field stuff doesn't hurt the Duke pitch either.
"Coach Cutcliffe is not only bringing the players together as a cohesive unit, but also giving them a real sense of family and the most impressive thing I've seen is how invested the fans and the student body have become, and how they've rallied around the team. You could really see it [against Miami] when the team was down early, but the fans really helped drive them to victory."
As a junior Morris has helped Ringgold to a 9-2 overall record and past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the school's 79 year history. Through 11 games he has recorded 74 tackles, 11 sacks, nine tackles for loss, 11 quarterback pressures, and one safety.
Morris classifies himself as a firm commitment, and will schedule his official visit during his senior season.