At 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds, Estero, Fla. offensive lineman Derrick Morse is no longer playing this season and is now busy preparing for a couple things.
"First is the all-star game in California that I've been selected to play in," Morse said. "I know there's going to be some pretty good competition there so I'm looking forward to that week a lot."
However, Morse has even better news for Canes fans.
"I recently found out that I'll be graduating high school later this month and I'll be starting at the University of Miami in January."
Morse said that opportunity has him very excited.
"It's going to help me out a lot," he said. "Instead of having to go in there and learn all the football stuff on top of starting school, I'll be able to get caught up in school before everything gets going. Plus, I'll be able to participate in spring practice, which will really give me a chance to learn a lot before the fall. I think it's awesome."
Morse said he continues to talk with UM coach Art Kehoe on a weekly basis.
"He calls me pretty much every week," he said. "A couple weeks ago when he called, he was standing in the tunnel before going onto the field when they were playing against Tennessee. He was telling me how big a game it was and how everyone was going nuts there. I was so excited just talking to him on the phone."
The standout lineman said he got a chance to meet Kehoe at a young age and that was an important part of his decision to pick the Hurricanes.
"I went to some of the Down & Dirty Camp sessions that he was coaching in the past," he said. "I got to see what he's like both on the field and off. On the field, he's very tough and just a great coach. Off the field, he'll be the first to pat you on your back. He's very friendly."
Morse, who began playing football in 9th grade after being told he was too big to play Pop Warner, made a summer commitment to Miami.
"Coach Kehoe mentioned to my coach after our spring game that he's very interested and might be offering me a scholarship," he said. "Then I took an unofficial visit there on August 9. As soon as they offered me, I was like 'wow, this is Miami.' It was an awesome feeling. I went back down there for another visit, without them knowing, and I took my mom with me. That's when I told them I was definitely coming. They seemed real happy about it."
Morse said he's been a big Miami fan ever since attending the Rutgers game last season.
"I started following them closely at the beginning of last year," he said. "I went to the Rutgers game and pictured myself playing there some day.
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