Morton staying home

The Blue Raider staff has been criticized in recent years for their lack of in-state recruiting. While a solid number of Tennessee prep stars end up at Division 1 programs each year, Middle Tennessee doesn't seem to be a landing spot for many of them. According to one local product, that's about to change.

"As of this morning, I verbally committed to Middle Tennessee," Shelbyville running back Marquis Morton tells BRZ. "I love it. It's close to home, a beautiful campus, I love the coaching staff and what they have to offer."

Landing the 5-9, 190 lb. Morton is a big get for the Blue Raider staff this early in the process. He came to camp recently and made quite an impression on the coaches, who rewarded his good work with a scholarship offer. The adoration was mutual, as evidenced by Morton's thoughts on the camp.

"They had the running backs in running back drills originally. When it came to one-on-ones, I like how they used me at running back, in the slot and outside receiver," he says. "I got to talk to Coach Faulkner, too and we had a lot of good talks. I got to talk to Coach Stockstill a lot, too."

While he committed to Middle Tennessee as a running back, Morton's athleticism has him shining as a two-way player for Central High School, where he also lines up at defensive back. That added time on the field didn't seem to slow him down at all in 2011, when he rushed for 1,288 yards and 17 touchdowns. In addition to his impressive rushing stats, Marquis caught 20 passes for 285 yards and another four touchdowns during his outstanding Junior season, which culminated in him being named the District 8-AAA Most Valuable Player.

"Our offense now, we run the spread, so I'm mainly a running back and sometimes they'll put me in at quarterback in the wildcat and I'll actually pass some," Morton says of his versatility. "So I play a little bit everywhere."

Prior to his commitment, Morton held another offer from Tennessee State, but had been hearing from teams like Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Duke and Memphis. With an impressive list of programs like that vying for his services, Middle Tennessee fans should be thrilled with this pick up.

When it comes to his future, Morton is pretty clear on how he wants his college career to play out.

"I want to step on the field straight out of high school," he says, citing early playing time as one of the biggest factors in his decision. "I want some playing time my first year. I also don't want to be too far from home and a lot of it was what the coaches were like."

Stay tuned to for more exclusive coverage of Middle Tennessee recruiting!

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