Morris, De La Salle ready for breakout season

Over the summer, Warren De La Salle quarterback Shane Morris was jawing with his fellow 7-on-7 teammates about what his nickname should be. After much debate, the team narrowed it down to two. Would he be called Sugar Shane after renowned boxer Sugar Shane Mosley? Or was Shane Shady, an homage to infamous Detroit-based rapper Eminem, a more appropriate moniker?

“I think I prefer Sugar Shane,” Morris told ESPNU during an interview at Gridiron Kings, an ESPN RISE Games event at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Getting the nickname right will be important. After all, there might not be a football player in Michigan who’s talked about more over the next two seasons. The junior signal-caller led his Midwest team to the finals at Gridiron Kings, and now the Michigan commit has his sights set on helping the Pilots (9-3 Division 2 regional finalists last season) get back to the state tournament.

“We did really well last year, and we picked it up at the end of the year,” Morris says. “But this year we need to work harder than anyone else. We lost a few of our players from last year, but all of our skill players are back and we’ve got some good linemen coming back. We need to be ready to work hard.”

Morris isn’t the only junior who will be counted on for the Pilots this year. Classmate Damorria Lilly will be the team’s workhorse in the backfield. Senior Mike Abiragi will get plenty of touches as well, and he’s also one of the team’s better defensive backs. Senior defensive lineman Alex Issa (five sacks last year) will be an important returnee for De La Salle, and Justin Browning’s play at DB will prove to be important for a defense that lost some key players at every position.