The Wolverine

2022 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2022 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 83 His father talked of being the honorary captain at Florida State when his own son was chosen captain and being on the field during a coin flip before watching his son wear the same uniform he did decades earlier. They were so certain of it, in fact, that Mike Jr. pledged to his dad's alma mater as a fresh- man and never looked back … Until he did. Head coach Jimbo Fisher left Tallahassee for Texas A&M, replaced by Wil- lie Taggart. Morris Sr., who had continued as a spokesman for the program well after his playing days, supported the new hire, but he also understood how his son was feeling after watching almost all the coaches who recruited him leave for another school. It might have hurt him when his son de- committed in 2017, but he kept it to himself. "Unlike some parents, I don't live my dreams through my kids," he told local re- porters at the time. "They have to be their own people." But his son wanted to be like his dad. "When I was growing up, you couldn't tell me I wasn't going to be a Seminole," Morris said. "I bled garnet and gold. It definitely hurt to decommit. … It was a big deal. "But things happened, and then Michigan recruited me heavily. The difference was just something was calling me to Michigan. I don't know what it was, but I felt it was a family environment. Then I prayed over it. I feel like I was led to be a Michigan Wol- verine." Waiting His Turn Like most highly touted recruits, Morris had high hopes when he first stepped foot on campus. He was part of a top-10 recruit- ing class that featured several outstanding defensive linemen, including an end in David Ojabo who had the same high hopes, but he was confident in his ability and used to being the best of the best on the football field. In Ann Arbor, he found himself as one of many just like him. In addition to his own classmates, Morris was competing with fu- ture first-round NFL Draft pick Kwity Paye, incoming Central Michigan transfer Mike Danna and others for time … and he wasn't getting any. It was a humbling moment, he admitted, but a necessary one. It came to a head dur- ing one of his first opportunities against the first-team offense. The men up front were all projected NFL linemen, and all would eventu- ally make it. They were also excited for the fresh meat, unforgiving when fed. The Time Is NOW NOW Florida State Legacy Mike Morris Is Ready To Break Out For The Defense BY CHRIS BALAS W hen he was young, Michigan senior defensive end Mike Morris had one goal. Having heard the stories of his father's playing days at Florida State, tales of great FSU coach Bobby Bowden and the legacy he left, he thought — knew — he was going to follow in his father's footsteps, be the next great lineman to come from the school, albeit on the other side of the ball from where his dad, Mike Morris Sr., played as an offensive lineman. During the 2021 season, the 6-foot-6 Mor- ris flashed his potential, making four starts and posting 17 tackles, 2 pass break-ups, a shared sack and a tackle for loss. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL

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