The Wolverine

October 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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OCTOBER 2018 THE WOLVERINE 45   COMMITMENT PROFILE B oca Raton (Fla.) American Heri- tage four-star defensive end Mi- chael Morris had been committed to Florida State since February 2016, but after a couple of unofficial visits to Ann Arbor and finally an official visit for U-M's 2018 home opener the 6-6, 260-pounder decided to flip his commitment to the Wolverines. It's something that Morris had been thinking about for a while, and a full weekend at Michigan was enough to push him over the edge. "The reason why I took my first unofficial was because of Devin Bush [Sr.]," Morris explained. "He and my dad are really close, and they played together at Florida State. Coach Bush started it, and then [defensive line] Coach [Greg] Mattison just handled the rest. Once I met him it was over. He treated me like his own kid or one of his relatives. He's like my grandpa. "He really embraced me whole- heartedly, and I could really feel that. That really sparked everything, and the rest is basically just history." Despite being the oldest coach on staff, Mattison has a great reputa- tion for bonding with young student- athletes. Not only does his personal- ity attract players to Michigan, the way he coaches them up makes them want to play for him as well. It was no different with Morris. "They want me at defensive end or what they call the anchor position. They want me to be the next Rashan Gary and play like he does. That's what they really see me as," Morris explained. "It was cool seeing Aidan Hutchinson playing as a true fresh- man. I'm about that same size, so I fit in at that spot." The No. 45 player in Florida and No. 25 weakside defensive end na- tionally isn't a finished product yet, but Florida analyst Rob Cassidy sees a lot to like in Morris and expects him to blossom under Mattison's tutelage. "Morris has incredible size and power," Cassidy said. "While not being particularly quick, the South Florida product moves fluidly for a prospect of his size. Because of these things, Morris has a high ceiling and could develop further over the course of the next few seasons. "He probably won't set the world on fire as a freshman, but could be- come a star later in his career. He certainly has the physical traits." With such a longstanding commit- ment to the Seminoles now in the past, people are naturally wondering whether or not Morris will remain committed to the Wolverines. He knows the questions will come, and it's already something he's thought about. "I might still take officials if Michi- gan let's me," he said. "I don't think anyone is really going to waste their time on me now, though. I was com- mitted to Florida State for almost three years, and I don't like to switch up. "I wasn't going anywhere else, but now I don't see anywhere else that could make me think twice about Michigan. Nothing is going to get me off of that Michigan path." Cassidy sees it playing out the same way. "Morris had been cooling on FSU for some time, as the new coaching staff had not stayed in contact in the manner the old staff did," Cassidy ex- plained. "That's not to say the Semi- noles outright dropped Morris, but they certainly didn't give him reason to stick around. It stands to reason that his recruitment has now met its end, as another change of heart is unlikely." Morris looked around a little bit once Jimbo Fisher left Florida State, and Michigan wasn't one of his main suitors at that time. Now that he's committed, he's excited to recruit for the Wolverines and has no intentions on changing his mind again. — Brandon Brown Michigan Flips Florida Four-Star Michael Morris Away From The Seminoles FILM EVALUATION Strengths: Michael Morris' strength is his best attribute, along with his size. He's a very big young man at 6-6, 260 pounds and looks like he could easily add 30 to 40 pounds and maintain a solid level of athleticism. He's got long arms and legs, which makes it hard for linemen to get their hands on him. He uses all of that well and is a handful to block at the line of scrimmage. Areas Of Improvement: Morris needs to work on his overall physique, conditioning and next-level strength in order to contribute early at Michi- gan. He's simply bigger and stronger than everyone in high school, but that won't be the case at the next level. He has the bloodlines, raw size and ath- leticism to be a very effective player. Michigan Player Comparison: Physically, Morris compares very fa- vorably to former Wolverine defensive lineman Chris Wormley. Morris mea- sures in at 6-6, 260 pounds, which is the same height and just 10 pounds lighter than Wormley was when he was finishing up his senior year. Both have strong, thick lower bodies that generate a ton of power and decent burst for bigger defenders. Neither of them would be described as ex- plosive or twitchy, but they can both move for being bigger bodied defen- sive ends and both can play several positions along the defensive line. — Analysis from Morris is rated as the No. 45 player in Florida and the No. 25 weakside defensive end in the country by PHOTO BY NICK LUCERO/COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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