Signee Update: Romar Morris

North Carolina signee Romar Morris became the latest future Tar Heel to end his high school career by winning the N.C. Athlete of the Year award.

"I was surprised at first when my coach told me a couple days ago," Morris said. "I wasn't really expecting it. As a matter of fact, I was out of town when my coach told me. When he told me I won it, I was surprised and blessed to win it."

Other winners of the award who continued their careers at UNC include Ethan Albright ('89), Na Brown ('95), Tyrell Godwin ('97), Julius Peppers ('98), Kendric Burney ('06), and Kareem Martin ('10).

Throughout his senior year at Salisbury (N.C.), which hasn't come to a conclusion yet, Morris was/is a major part of four sports teams and has collected several honors along the way.

"[Athlete of the Year] is a great icing on the cake," Morris said. "It's the most prestigious individual award that I've gotten since I've been in high school. "

Morris helped the football team win the NCHSAA 2AA State Championship. He took home the title game's Most Valuable Player and Central Carolina Conference's Player-of-the-Year.

During the winter sports season, Morris started at point guard on the basketball team and ran indoor track. On the hardwood, he averaged six points and eight assists a game, while the team reached the fourth round of the NCHSAA 2A playoffs. In indoor track, he won the 55-meter dash in the NCHSAA 1A/2A/3A Indoor State Track Championship with a 6.41-second time, which was quicker than the winning time in the 4A Championship Meet.

"I really only ran in two track meets for indoor," Morris said. "I ran one to qualify and then I ran the state meet."

Morris is now hitting the home stretch of his outdoor track season, where he runs the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

"I'm coming off of a hamstring injury and I ran a 10.4 [second time in the 100-meter dash] in a track meet last week," Morris said."I'm pretty well healed. I'm trying to go lower than that for regionals and states."

Morris says his best hand timed 100-meter dash is 10.25 seconds. His top 200-meter time is 21.4 seconds.

Morris will run in the regional track meet this coming weekend. The top four times from each event qualify for the state track meet, which is held on May 21.

"I feel really good [about reaching the state meet], because I've been running really well for the last two weeks," Morris said. "My coach has been training me very hard and I've been working out in the weight room trying to get my legs stronger. I feel really good about defending my title."

Morris, who scouts his track competition on the internet, says his stiffest competition will come from Tevin Hester, a junior from Stem (N.C. ) Granville Central.

"I ran against him in indoor [track]," Morris said. "I won the indoor state championship and he was second place, but it was a close race."

After accepting his N.C. Athlete of the Year Award, which was presented in Chapel Hill, Morris stopped by the football office and met with John Shoop, UNC's offensive coordinator.

"I had a long conversation with [Shoop]," Morris said. "He just talked about this upcoming season and how the coaches are ready for me to come in.

"I haven't really heard anything about me being red-shirted. Whenever I talk to Coach Shoop, he says the plan is to just get me into open space with the ball. They've talked about trying me out on kick return and punt return to see if I fit at either of them."

Morris said he'll be wearing No. 21 for UNC.

"They asked me for my number choices," Morris said. "I told them 8, 6, and 21. They said 8 was taken by Travis Riley and an older player wanted No. 6, but 21 was open. I like 21, because of LaDainian Tomlinson."

Despite his hectic sports schedule, Morris has been able to follow the workout regimen UNC sends its signees.

"Darien [Rankin] and I, and a couple of other players from our football team that're going to college to play football, we work out on the weekends or whenever we have free time," Morris sad. "We lift weights every day."

Morris, who played his senior football season at 175 pounds, last weighed in at 180 pounds in January.

"With me running track, I basically run every day," Morris said. "I don't think I'm gaining any weight. If anything, I've lost weight."

Even after his track season ends in a couple weeks, Morris' routine will likely remain unchanged until he reports to campus on June 13.

"I'm just going to try to keep my speed and keep working out in the weight room," Morris said. "I know I'm getting stronger. I know [UNC] will be able to put some weight on me when I get there."

Morris, who projects as a qualifier by the NCAA Clearinghouse, says he'll most likely major in physical therapy at UNC.

"I wrote my senior paper on physical therapy and looked up a whole lot of information on it," Morris said. "It just seems like a good field."

Romar Morris Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories