Highly touted running back recruit George Morris is on campus and ready for the fall semester, The Fizz has learned. The status of the Georgia game-breaker was murky earlier this summer, but Morris’ high school coach tells us after missing the start of camp he arrived on the Hill a few weeks ago.
Earlier this summer, The Daily Orange reported two incoming freshmen on the Syracuse football team did not report for the Summer Start program.¬†The Fizz¬†confirmed that defensive end Myles Hilliard was one of those absent. Academics forced Myles to spend the year at Milford Academy,¬†but he told The Fizz he is optimistic about his situation, and expects to join the team next season.
The status of¬†running back George Morris¬†was tougher to decode. The Daily Orange said he wasn‚Äôt in Syracuse, but Jerome Smith tweeted he was having lunch with Morris and the rest of the Orange running backs.
Several attempts to get in touch with Morris were unsuccessful at first. But finally, The Fizz was able to connect with Todd Wofford, Morris‚Äôs head coach at Central Gwinett High School.
Wofford clarified that Morris was in fact missing from the Summer Start program at first, because the running back had to finish up an online class. Morris eventually finished the course, and arrived on campus in mid-July. He‚Äôs all set academically, and is looking forward to starting his freshman year at SU.
This officially sets up an interesting competition at running back. The Orange has two veterans in Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley that have yet to prove they can produce as feature backs. Then there’s enormous sophomore Adonis Ameen-Moore who had a shaky freshman year and could stand to lose some weight. Add¬†incoming freshmen DeVante McFarlane¬†and Morris. Of all the backs on the roster, the two true freshmen might have the most talent. But will it translate to playing time?
Meanwhile, Fizzster Dave Van Moffaert caught up with Coach Wofford to ask him about what Morris needs to do in order to be effective for SU.
DVM: Final thoughts on having Morris as his running back over the last two years?
Wofford: George was a tremendous worker and competitor. He was always trying to make himself better, not only on the football field but also in the classroom. He continued to work on everything: his hands, his speeds, his size and learn as much about the game as far as how to watch film and breakdown his opponents.
He developed a lot from his first year to his second year as a back with his vision and footwork.
DVM: As he goes from the high school ranks to play Division 1 ball, what does he need to improve on the most?
Wofford: He is going to have to learn how to pass protect a lot better because you have the complicated defensive schemes, the different blitz packages that they have. (He needs to) continue to get bigger and stronger, faster and decipher a college playbook which is a challenge all in itself. ¬†
DVM: Where he thinks George can end up, and can he be a productive college back?
Wofford: Absolutely. I talked to him last week and he said that he is 195 pounds. right now. ¬†I’m thinking he will gain 10 to 15 pounds. One of his best traits is his hands, catching the ball out of the backfield and that is one of those things everyone is looking for whether it be the college or the pros.
Posted: Andrew Kanell