Practice Tour: Romar Morris

SALISBURY, N.C. --- Romar Morris has eliminated another school from contention and could be ready to make a verbal commitment soon.

"It's down to [North] Carolina and Georgia Tech, right now," Morris said. "They both have qualities that I like. Georgia Tech, [I like] the offense and I have family down there. Carolina is right down the street, basically – everybody in my family can see me play and I won't be too far from home – [and] I like the coaches, too."

A little over a month ago, Morris named Clemson, Georgia Tech, UNC, South Carolina and Tennessee as his final five schools. The 5-foot-9, 172-pound athlete slowly dwindled down that list, with Tennessee being the most recent school to be cut.

Morris, who has visited both Georgia Tech and UNC at least twice, will make one last recruiting trip before deciding.

"I'm supposed to be going up this weekend with Darien [Rankin] to Carolina and see how things go," Morris said. "I want to make a decision whenever I feel it's the right time."

Morris revealed that the right time will likely come this weekend or shortly thereafter.

Rankin, Morris' teammate, verbally committed to UNC a month ago and has been recruiting Morris to UNC ever since. Morris admits Rankin's commitment is an advantage.

"I'm trying to make my own decision, but I'd like to continue going to school with one of my buddies from home," Morris said. "I've been around [Rankin] most of my life. We've been buddies for a long time playing basketball, football, [and] track together."

Both finalists have offered Morris the opportunity to walk onto their track programs and will give him the chance to compete for the punt and/or kick returner jobs.

The biggest differences arise in the offensive schemes both finalists employ and how each school plans to utilize Morris within its respective offense. Georgia Tech runs a triple-option offense and is recruiting him as an ‘A' back, while UNC runs a pro-style offense and projects him as a "utility" player.

"Either I want to continue in [the triple-option] offense where I'm comfortable or I go to Carolina and do a little more with the ball," Morris said. "I'm not sure what I want to do, yet."

Salisbury employs a triple-option offense, similar to Georgia Tech's, with Morris lining up at the ‘A' back.

"He's not just a speed guy," Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan said. "There was a point last year against Davie County, which is a big 4A school, where we started moving the ball between the tackles and it wasn't because we just overwhelmed their big defensive linemen. We were getting a little bit of a seam and it was moving because of Romar's strength. He'll move the pile."

But make no mistake about it – Morris' bread-and-butter is his speed, which he displayed on the combine circuit with several 4.3-second 40-yard dash times.

"He's going to outrun you," Pinyan said. "Most good running backs don't like contact anyway – they're going to run away from you. And he's going to try to outrun contact. But he's not going to let contact slow him down neither. You're going to have to hit him and wrap him up, because he's going to keep churning and make extra yards."

Playing in a triple-option offense might actually have hurt Morris' recruiting stock.

"There are some schools that questioned whether he can be that I-back – that guy that's going to carry it 30 times a game," Pinyan said. "[They wonder will] we have to take him out of the game in certain situations?"

Most of the schools who offered Morris circumvented that question by recruiting him as a "utility ‘back," which brought up yet another question: how good of a receiver is he?

"We throw 30 times a game and 25 of those are in warm-ups," Pinyan joked.

UNC addressed that question during its one-day camp in June by working Morris out exclusively at receiver.

"He's answered a lot of questions," Pinyan said. "At first I thought he's going to have to fit into a Georgia Tech-style offense. But the more I watch him, I tell myself he can fit anywhere – he can just make things happen. The school that gets him is going to be really happy, because he's electric."

Morris' electric play isn't limited to offense. He also returns punts and kickoffs for Salisbury.

"Last year after receiving a kickoff we started between the 35- and 40-yard lines, because 90-percent of the kicks we got were those little pooch kicks, because they're not going to kick it deep to [Morris]," Pinyan said. "[As a returner], he gives us a shorter field." Romar Morris Profile

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