UM on Verge of Commitment

This standout prospect has had an excellent summer and may be close to making his college choice if things remain as they are. He talks about why the Hurricane are his top choice at the moment.

At 6-foot-4 1/2 and 300 pounds, Estero, Fla. offensive lineman Derrick Morse said he's had a real enjoyable summer.

"It's been awesome," Morse said. "Practice has gone really well, I was voted the top player at Down & Dirty's camp of 340 kids, I took an unofficial visit to Clemson, then I was offered a scholarship by Miami on a visit there last week. Things have gone real well."

Morse talked about those different events.

"This whole summer we worked out every day from 5:30 to 8:30," he said. "We were lifting and running every day. We did a lot of conditioning and I'm in real good shape right now. Down & Dirty was a lot of fun this year. It was my third year going. I won the battle of the boards (editor's note: This is a drill where the players line up 1-on-1 against each other and their feet must be positioned on each side of a board, making sure proper technique is used. It's done in tournament style, based on single elimination). Me and Mario Henderson were in the finals. He's tall, probably about 6-7 or 6-8 and he's a really good player. We had a friendly rivalry going and I really enjoyed competing against him. He's a great player who is really strong."

Morse then talked about his unofficial visit to Miami last week.

"It went really well," he said. "It was good timing because Coach Kehoe talked to me in the spring and actually came to my spring game to watch me play. Then I hadn't heard much from him this summer until I took my visit. I took a tour and everything then met with the coaches in Larry Coker's office. That's when they offered me a scholarship. I was very excited. When you walk around you see the nice weight room and the nice facilities, but it's like that everywhere it seems. Everyone has nice facilities, but what makes Miami different is they have great players and great coaches that is the reason they win. I would love to be a part of that."

Morse said the Hurricanes are definitely the front-runners at this point.

"Without a doubt, Miami's definitely my No. 1 choice right now," he said. "I'm also looking at Clemson, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Tennessee. But unless things change a lot over the next few weeks, I'm pretty sure the University of Miami is where I'll end up. I really like them a lot. Coach Kehoe is the best offensive line coach in college football. I truly believe he'll prepare me for the next level. I've worked with him at Down & Dirty in recent years and I like his style. I always said that a big part of my decision was how well I got along with the offensive line coach. Well, Coach Kehoe's the best. Plus Miami is close to home and they are a school that wants me."

Morse, who also has scholarship offers from Clemson, Michigan State, Indiana, Rutgers, South Carolina, and Wake Forest, said he's getting real close to making his decision.

"I might make it by the end of this month," he said. "Unless something really changes my mind when coaches can start calling again on Sept 1, it looks like I'll be going with Miami. They're the defending national championships, they have great coaches, a great school, and you can't get any better than that.."

Morse was asked about the University of Florida, as he mentioned the Gators in an earlier interview with me.

"They just don't seem real interested in me," he said. "I dont know why, but that's OK. They have to do their thing just like Miami's doing theirs. I want to go to a place that wants me like I said."

Many wonder whether Morse will play guard or tackle at the next level.

"I can play both," he said. "It doesn't really matter to me either way." What about center? "I've never tried center, but I'll be willing to give it a try."

Morse, whose team opens the season against Naples on Sept 5, talked about his goals for this coming season.

"I just want to play hard every play and win some games," he said. "We lost a lot of talent from last year but we've been working hard and I think we'll be pretty good. We just have to keep working hard."

My first story on Morse, who I was very impressed with as a junior, was done in mid-March. Check the link:

miami.theinsiders.com/2/40364.html

The first interview I did with Morse was in mid-June. Check the link:

miami.theinsiders.com/2/51434.html

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