This week, ESPNDallas.com spotlights five of the top quarterbacks returning to Friday night football in 2011.
School, class: Allen, Sr.
2010 Stats: 182-for-297, 2,533 yards, 22 TDs
Morris assumed the starting quarterback role in 2010 as a tall, lanky junior who left plenty of question marks in how well the Allen offense would be able to perform. In 2011, Morris is a very different athlete, leading the ESPN Dallas spring 5A No. 1 team into his senior season.
This offseason, Morris decided not to continue to be a two-sport athlete, electing to work through Allen’s football offseason program instead of playing basketball. The difference is noticeable. Morris will begin his senior year at around 235 pounds, adding 25 pounds of muscle in his arms and chest to his tall, lanky frame.
Allen coach Tom Westerberg said the offseason work has already added a physicality to Morris' game that was not nearly as pronounced last year.
Morris, a Wake Forest commit, is at his best as a pocket passer who can pick apart a defense in the short- to mid-range game when he gets his feet set. His added weight will make Morris even more difficult to bring down in the backfield than he already was, giving him the chance to extend plays.
With a year under his belt, Morris has grown into the system at Allen and will increase his already good ability to make reads. His new physical strength can make him more of an asset in Allen’s short-yardage running game after he ran for 216 yards and eight touchdowns last year.
Westerberg said the only challenge that could be difficult for Morris will be to surpass an excellent junior season in which he took Allen to the area round of the 5A Division I playoffs, where the Eagles fell to state finalist Euless Trinity.
“He should be fine this year because of the confidence factor of being there a year,” Westerberg said.
Morris again has to face one of the toughest districts in the state, and the season kicks off against Cedar Hill at SMU’s Ford Stadium. The Cedar Hill game is a rematch of the first game of 2010, which was the eye-opener for Morris’ potential at Allen.
With help from returning senior running back Jonathan Williams, Morris makes Allen the offense to beat in 2011.