The Wolverine

June-July 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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58 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2021   COMMITMENT PROFILE I t's been a long time coming. After several months of being la- beled as a Michigan lean, Rivals100 La Grange Park (Ill.) Nazareth Acad- emy wide receiver Tyler Morris pulled the trigger and committed to the Wolverines in April. Morris,'s No. 8 wide receiver and No. 78 overall prospect in the country, picked Michigan over offers from Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and several other major programs. "They have a great culture," Mor- ris said. "I think they have a bright future ahead of them. I like the fam- ily feel. They make me feel like they really want me. They showed me how I'm going to be used, and that's big for me." Morris was originally scheduled to make a decision this summer as he was in the process of mapping out summer official visits to Florida, Michigan and Notre Dame. How- ever, Morris felt like it was the right time to pull the trigger. While Notre Dame made an ag- gressive push, Michigan took a more laid-back approach with Morris dur- ing his spring senior season over the last couple of months and focused on life rather than football. Both offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and area recruiter Sherrone Moore were heavily involved in Mor- ris' recruitment. "They are great guys," Morris said. "They seem real. I say this all the time, but it's not just about football with them. They always ask how I'm doing, how my family is doing, how school is going and things like that. It really shows a lot." Earning a commitment from Mor- ris meant more than just winning him over as an individual. Gattis and Moore also had to get his family on board. Morris' mother, Shirley, made her way to Ann Arbor with Morris for a self-guided visit in the fall and also joined her son on several unofficial visits before the dead period. When it came down to making a decision, Shirley also felt comfortable with Michigan. "When we would hang out on the recruiting trips, it wasn't all about foot- ball," she said. "You could really laugh and joke with the staff. If they weren't in the role of coaching my son, I could actually hang out with them. They were very nice and genuine people. I didn't get the feel that they were being fake just to woo us or try to convince us that this would be a great place. "I think one thing me and Michael [Morris' father] are pretty good at is figuring out who is being real and honest. We just get a gut feeling of who we want in our lives and in our kids' lives. We got feelings of genu- ine interest and nice people when we were with the staff." Morris' father, Michael, shared similar sentiments. "They were consistent throughout. I think part of it is like sales — knowing your audience," he said. "Tyler has a laid-back personality. He's analytical. Having that constant contact where they didn't pressure him but let him know that they were interested and that he was still their guy was helpful. "Some schools were calling a lot and some schools called and we never heard from again. The consis- tency factor from Michigan played a huge role." Morris amassed more than 1,700 yards of total offense and scored 24 total touchdowns as a sophomore. In an unfortunate situation, Morris suf- fered a torn ACL during his spring junior season — just days before his verbal pledge to the Wolverines. Morris is the first wide receiver in Michigan's 2022 recruiting class and seventh commit overall. — EJ Holland Michigan Lands Rivals100 Wide Receiver Tyler Morris PLAYER EVALUATION Strengths: Tyler Morris is versatile, able to split out wide or do damage in the slot. He is a natural pass catcher and has perhaps the best hands in the nation this cycle. He is also a technical route runner. The four-star prospect is advanced at getting in and out of breaks, finding soft spots in the defense and adjusting to defensive coverages. He won the 15-16 high jump at the AAU Junior Olympic games in 2018 and is often an underappreciated athlete. He can leap with the best of them and is excellent at high pointing the ball. Weaknesses: There have been questions about Morris' speed. While he is quick in the open field and is an expert at creating separation, he doesn't necessarily have elite burst and top-end track speed. The biggest question mark with him, however, will be how he recovers from a torn ACL. While that injury is not as catastrophic as it once was, Morris will be sidelined for a while and is set to miss his senior year entirely. Michigan Player Comparison: Michigan doesn't really have a player on its roster that closely resembles Morris. The best comparison may be freshman An- drel Anthony, who signed with the Wolverines last cycle. Anthony is also a pass catcher that can play in the slot or the outside, doesn't have outstanding speed but understands how to get open and can surprise with his athleticism. However, Morris is a superior prospect coming out of high school. — EJ Holland Morris amassed more than 1,700 yards of total offense and scored 24 total touch- downs as a sophomore, but suffered a torn ACL during his spring junior season. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM Morris on why he chose Michigan "They have a great culture. I think they have a bright future ahead of them. I like the family feel."

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