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MJ Morris/Courtesy photo
In-state QB MJ Morris is one of the nation's top QBs in the 2022 class.

MJ Morris: How new Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken has prioritized the elite 2022 QB

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry discusses the blossoming recruiting relationship between elite 2022 QB MJ Morris and the Bulldogs.

Carrollton High’s Myles Jamison Morris was not invited to the Georgia-Notre Dame game last September in Athens.

It really seems implausible to think about it now.

That was when a who’s who along a constellation of stars showed up to see the Bulldogs hold off the Irish in a nationally-televised matchup.

But then again, the Bulldogs had a different quarterback coach and offensive coordinator at that time. When did things change for him with Georgia?

“It was right when coach [Todd] Monken got hired as the new offensive coordinator,” Morris said. “That’s when things really took off for me with Georgia at that time. I’ve been in contact with them now about once a week. Things definitely skyrocketed for me with Georgia when Monken got hired. I would definitely say it had something to do with that.”

That one story will reflect why things have definitely changed between the Bulldogs and Morris. Even in a recruiting world stuck in carbon freeze since the global pandemic.

Morris, who goes by MJ, has been an ascending talent on the recruiting trail for the last five months. Especially since his sophomore tape was released.

Do yourself a favor and check it out below.

Long-time national recruiting analyst Tom Lemming liked what he saw enough to rate Morris as the nation’s No. 1 QB prospect for the 2022 cycle.

Morris has been a steady riser with his pure 247Sports rating over the last year, too. That well-respected service pegs him as the nation’s No. 2 dual-threat QB and the No. 41 overall recruit for 2022.

When discussing his recruiting, Morris feels that he has a lot of research left to do. If the NCAA waved the green flag for immediate recruiting visits, he knows which schools he would need to check out first.

Those would not be Alabama, Auburn and Georgia. Those are the schools that he feels like he already has a pretty good read on.

“I’ve only been to UGA twice but I feel like I know a lot about UGA it being the hometown school. I would definitely say that I know the most about UGA, Auburn and Alabama right now.”

Where would he have been over the last three months if not for the novel coronavirus?

“I definitely would have been to Penn State, Michigan, Florida State, Mizzou and Oregon,” he said. “Those are pretty much some of the schools I haven’t been to yet.”

If prospects were allowed to visit schools again, where would he go first?

“It would probably be Mizzou, Florida State, Penn State and Michigan,” he said. “If I were to hit two at a time, it would probably be Penn State and Michigan in one weekend.”

Morris values loyalty. The reason why Missouri is on that list can be seen as a reflection of his character.

“I would definitely want to go visit Mizzou because coach [Eliah Drinkwitz] is the head coach there now and he was the head coach before at Appalachian State. He was my first offer so I have a lot of interest in him and what he’s doing and I love him a lot. That’s why I have a lot of interest in Mizzou.”

MJ Morris-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting
MJ Morris had a fantastic sophomore season in 2019. That’s despite needing off-season surgery and playing at 70-75 of his physical ability. (MJ Morris/Courtesy photo)

Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com “Before the Hedges” program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download. 

MJ Morris: The things to know now about the elite 2022 QB

The purpose of the first DawgNation.com in-depth profile piece on a recruit it to try to share a few traits about a player that most might not know. We need to tick off a few of those with Morris.

  • His film is very impressive at times. That’s not just his athletic ability and the way he spins the football. His understanding of route concepts and how to read a defense is advanced for any high school QB, much less one who has two more seasons of varsity games to play. 
  • While digesting that reel, it is pertinent to know he played last season at basically 70 percent health. Morris had a hip injury that required surgery after the season. 
  • He’s grown a little and is bumping up on that 6-foot-2 mark on the growth chart. His weight is now right at 180 pounds. 
  • MJ Morris-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting
    MJ Morris poses with longtime UGA recruiter Dell McGee in this courtesy photo supplied to DawgNation. (MJ Morris/Special to DawgNation)

    Morris had a “hip impingement” last fall. His doctor gave him permission to play through it because he couldn’t do any further damage. When it was time for that repair, his surgeon had to shave off some of the bone around that hip area. 

  • As a result, he does not expect to be released for physical activity until July. 
  • Those that look for class separation between elite QBs in Athens will be keen to learn of his passion for baseball. Morris considers himself to be a true two-sport prospect and intends to play baseball his senior year at Carrollton. 
  • He will pitch, play shortstop, third base and center field. He has played everywhere on the diamond except first. base and catcher. 
  • “I actually think I am a better baseball player than a football player,” he said. “I have a dream to play both in college. If I come out early, then I wouldn’t be able to finish out my baseball year and baseball my senior year. I have a lot to think about right there.”
  • That would go against the typical January early enrollee trend for quarterbacks to get a jump on early playing time with his recruitment. 
  • Morris attended Pace Academy in Atlanta through the eighth grade 
  • He is a true 2022 QB. He has a remarkable maturity for a young man who is just 16 years of age. Morris will turn 17 on June 30. 
  • When he shared his thoughts on the racial tension in America, his words were grounded in awareness, conviction and reason. His heart-breaking “two strikes” comment will stick with this author for a long time. 
  • He does feel the global pandemic and the resulting halt to on-campus recruiting has pushed back his recruiting process.

There’s another impressive takeaway here with Morris. That is his outlook toward the transfer portal when it comes to elite nationally-rated quarterbacks.

There were “five or six” talented quarterbacks when he arrived at Carrollton. While he felt he showed a lot of promise as a freshman, he didn’t win the job.

“But I was like I’m not about to transfer because I didn’t get the job,” he said. “I was just like that showed me I had to work even harder than I did before.”

He put in the work. Before and practices. Morris logged the extra film work.

“Then midseason I won the job,” Morris said. “I feel like if I would have transferred, I would have given up on myself. I would have not given myself that extra chance instead of going to extra practices and working even harder for what I want.”

“When I get to college, I’m not going to sit there. I’m going to work my tail off to make sure I get that starting job. That’s why I don’t want to transfer out if I don’t become the starter. I’m going to go somewhere I will want to stay and work my butt off to get that job.”

MJ Morris: What is he looking for in a college fit? 

He discussed what his family is thinking on a commitment timeline.

“We don’t have a set time span but we definitely do not want to wait too long,” he said. “Let’s say that I would really want to go to a certain school, but then a quarterback commits there before I do because I waited too long. I don’t want to do it too early.”

“I definitely want to make sure I weigh all of my options. Because of this coronavirus, I didn’t get to visit a lot of my options that I wanted to go to right now. But I definitely want to explore all of my options before I narrow it down and do a commitment or anything like that.”

What is he looking for?

  • “Definitely academics first,” he said. “That’s my mom right there. That’s her thing. I know most of the colleges that I’m looking at right now have great academics so there’s not too much there to worry about.”
  • “Then I would say if I could stay at that school for three or four years without thinking about transferring at all,” he said. “I can go there and compete for a job. I can just be around the coaches and the players and they can all just build me into being the best man and the best player I can be which helps me be the guy who can walk on that stage and become a first-round draft pick.”
  • He plans to pursue a business management degree. Morris finished up his sophomore year at Carrollton with a “3.5 or a 3.6 grade-point average in honors classes.” His mother Kimberly Morris is the prime motivator behind that. “My mom doesn’t let any of us slack,” he said. “My sister or my brother. If we came home with a ‘C’ or an ‘F’ then it would be a tough day for ourselves. I definitely put that first. I value my academics first and then football and other sports will come after that.”
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MJ Morris completed 61 percent of his passes for 2186 yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions as a sophomore in 2019. He also ran for another 379 yards and eight touchdowns. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

MJ Morris: How does he really feel about Georgia? 

Morris started playing football when he was four years old. When he did, he found himself competing against kids 1-2 years older than him. That pattern continued. He was that 10-year-old QB competing with 12-year-olds.

His father, Eddie Morris, played college basketball at Lincoln University. That’s now an NCAA Division III program. It helps his son.

“It is just the mindset he has,” Morris said. “I kind of go off that. He wants us to be better than him. If I want to be really great, I know that football and baseball would help me get to that point.”

Kyler Murray was drafted in the first round by the Oakland A’s. That was before he starred on the football field for the Oklahoma Sooners. He was later drafted No. 1 overall by the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

Morris desires to follow that early career path. He aims to figure out his eventual pursuit as he goes along.

MJ Morris-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting
Myles Morris played very well as a sophomore last season despite requiring end-of-season surgery to repair a hip impingement. (MJ Morris/Courtesy photo)

“Yes sir,” Morris said. “That’s the dream.”

Oregon was the dream school growing up. That’s because of the uniforms.

Auburn was next after that. That was sparked by two things: 1) The way Cam Newton tore up the SEC; 2) His mother graduated from Auburn.

When it comes to the Bulldogs, Monken has certainly made an impression.

“He really knows a lot about football,” Morris said. “He came from the NFL with the [Tampa Bay] Buccaneers. I’ve learned a lot from him already over calls. We talk a little bit about football, too. I’ve learned so many things from him about football on those couple of minute calls. That I would have never known. I love him. I’d definitely want to play for him and learn from him.”

What’s the biggest tug for him right now with Georgia?

“I would say definitely the way they give their quarterback the option to control the whole offense,” Morris said. “The quarterback is in control and coach Monken will really teach you how to be a real quarterback. You have to go through all of your reads. I would definitely say it is one of those offenses I could play in.”

“Coach Monken said with my skill set that I could definitely run. I can throw great inside the pocket and outside the pocket. He said I would fit great in that offense.”

Monken appreciated his ability to read a defense from the pocket and dissect it with his arm strength.

“But when the play breaks down, I can get outside the pocket or I can tuck it and make an accurate throw on the run with my speed,” Morris said. “They definitely like that about me at Georgia.”

Morris patterns his game after current Houston Texans star QB Deshaun Watson. He also said that only Georgia Tech and Stanford are currently recruiting him as a two-sport athlete at this time. Stanford traditionally offers less than 60 players every cycle and has yet to offer any QBs in the 2022 class.

DAWGNATION RECRUITING

(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)

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