Stanford Hoops Lands First Junior Verbal

When a young man travels all the way from Georgia to Stanford twice in one month, it isn't tough to tell he has a serious interest in being a Cardinal. Sure enough, Tim Morris ended early a hotly contested national recruitment Wednesday evening with his verbal commitment to Stanford basketball - the first verbal in this junior class.

After taking his second trip from Atlanta to Stanford in less than four weeks, 6-4 combo guard Tim Morris gave his verbal commitment to Stanford Wednesday evening.  He told The Bootleg tonight that he gave the word to the Stanford coaches around 5pm, amusingly just 30 minutes after I had watched him play and chatted with him about his recruitment.  During that chat, he told me he could decide in the summer or fall.  I guess the joke was on me.  It often is for the kids who play things close to the vest and keep the truth a little more hidden, like Tim.

"I had already kind of felt like I wanted to commit before I took this visit, but my parents wanted to meet the coaches.  Though my mom already liked Stanford a lot.  My dad liked Stanford, too, but wanted to take the visit."

Though Tim could have easily taken his time with his recruitment, given his high level of abilities and growing list of suitors, the young man from Whitefield Academy saw "no need postponing it."

"It's a big relief.  Now I can just focus on my basketball this summer.  It is a big weight off my shoulders."

Ultimately, the decision to attend Stanford came to him in his first visit to Stanford earlier in May.  Between the campus, the professors and the guys on the team, it was the best place to be for him.

"When I first drove onto campus, up Palm Drive, I knew this was someplace special.  And they have great academics and athletics, the best in both arenas.  They have the whole package."

Josh Childress was his host on that official visit, and Tim said that he really got along well with Josh and several of the guys: "Tyler Besecker, Rob Little, Chris Hernandez - everybody."

The hardest part of going through this decision was bringing the bad news to the other programs that had worked so hard to get to know Tim and recruit him.  The final decision for Tim pitted Stanford against Georgia Tech and Notre Dame, and the Domers were the hardest to inform.

"It was really hard to tell Coach Brey.  I just hated telling him no."

When I asked Tim if he had inquired with the coaching staff about Georgia players coming out to Stanford for basketball, he said he has not, though he does know some of the football variety.  He is good friends with incoming blue chip freshmen Julian Jenkins and Jeff Edwards, as well as current cornerback standout Leigh Torrence.

Tim is in transit this evening to Colorado for the junior national team tryouts, where he will not just test himself against some of the top juniors and seniors in the country, but also test his ankle.  He hurt in a few weeks ago, and has been slowly coming back.  Tim says he is not yet at 100%, as was evident from his ginger jumping yesterday in Maples.  If his ankle holds up, and his cross-over can break opponents down, Tim could earn himself a spot on the team destined for Venezuela this summer.

For more on Tim's recruitment, on-court assessment and role within Stanford's recruiting class, check out the feature on him I published earlier today.  I will follow up soon with a photo gallery of Tim on the court from his pick-up game with his future Stanford teammates at Maples.


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