So what enabled Killian to overcome Carol City two weeks ago and get to the medal round?
"Team," he said. "Last year we had some as individuals. But, this year we got everybody as a team. T-E-A-M. Team. That's what we worked on was our teamwork. If it wasn't for the defensive line, than the linebackers couldn't make plays and if it ain't for the offensive blocks the backs can't do anything. Everybody played as a unit."
The Killian defender displayed outstanding athleticism on two or three occasions when the Edgewater quarterback floated the ball to his intended receiver. One play which definitely demonstrated his athleticism occurred with a minute or so left in the game and Edgewater in the red zone. Morley ran with the receiver, leapt up and took possession of the ball as he consciously kept at least one foot in the end zone. However, one official ruled that he was out of bounds. Morley nearly took out yours truly and Eric Esteban as we prepared to gather post game interviews. He made the play. Regardless, a Killian lineman was off-sides, so the play wouldn't have counted.
"Oh, I had it," he said. "I had it. I had one foot in. I had like three interceptions called back today, but that's okay, as long as we won. We came out with the victory and I'm happy. We are the first team from our school to ever go to the playoffs, so my name is on the board. "
Morley finished the game with five tackles and a fumble recovery. He wasn't perfect, but there was no question about his talent. He allowed a completion when he took a bad angle as Edgewater tight end Bryant Carpenter hauled in a 16 yard pass over the middle from quarterback Robert Arnheim, but that was his only glaring mistake.
Despite his commitment to Tennessee, Morley will not tune out and turn off. The 6-1, 185-pound All-American wasn't boiling over with enthusiasm when he spoke about his commitment being solid, offering simply, "So, right now, I'm committed to Tennessee right now."
Right now. Dee, you said right now?
"No, I said, I meant that I'm committed to Tennessee," he spun, again without much enthusiasm.
When asked if that means he wouldn't be willing to speak with other schools, such as Urban Meyer and the Gators, Morley said, "Yeah, I'll be listening to see what they (other schools) have to offer and put on the table and everything like that"
Morley named the Vols as his leader, but lacked any sense of passion in doing so. The vibrant manner in which he described Killian's first ever state championship was seemingly run over by the big yellow school bus when the word commitment was first uttered.
Right now, Morley would rather talk about victory. "I feel like a champion," he said. "That's the best way I can describe it, the way I feel. All the work you do in April. Working hard during two-a-days. This is payday. This is our paycheck. I don't believe in all that hoopla. We are a team. When you play as a team, that's the way. There is no I in team."
Dee Morley is indeed a champion, and deserving of All-American status. The conclusion of his high school eligibility forces him to turn to the next chapter. Now the champ must hurriedly prepare for the onslaught of college recruiters who hope to show him where medals are replaced by championship rings.