February 10, 2010

Mississippi OL sees interest take off

Aaron Morris felt like he had a strong junior season.

Mississippi State offered in September. Ole Miss followed in December. Obviously, the 6-foot-5, 310-pounder from Jackson (Callaway), Miss., was doing something right.

Still, Morris felt there was plenty of things he had to work on.

He still does, but there's no denying the fact that his stock is rising rapidly, as evidenced by his inclusion Tuesday on Rivals.com's watch list of 250 members of the 2011 signing class.

"It's just exciting to me," Morris said. "I knew I was working hard. My coach was pushing me and it's starting to pay off. I'm going to keep working and get better."

Morris recently visited Ole Miss for the Rebels' first junior day. He received serious attention from several Ole Miss coaches, including offensive line coach Mike Markuson. It was his second trip in two months to Oxford, as he had made the 2 -hour journey to see one of Ole Miss' on-campus practices in preparation for the Jan. 2 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, a game the Rebels won over Oklahoma State in Irving, Texas.

"Ole Miss said they liked me and I have good feet," said Morris, who is also receiving serious interest from Southern Mississippi. "They want me there. I like their facilities. I like that indoor facility. Everything's right there where you can go to it. Everything's connected.

"They have great coaches. They seem down to earth. (Markuson) was talking about how they operate and the plays they run. He said they do a variety of things. He was talking about his experience and how long he's been coaching and things like that."

Morris will travel to Starkville this weekend to take in Mississippi State's junior day. He said he doesn't know as much about the Bulldogs at this point, though that will change Saturday.

"It seems like they have some good coaches too," Morris said. "They treated us good. I went to a few of their games and I like the atmosphere."

Morris appears destined to play college football in the Magnolia State, though he camped at Alabama last summer and plans to camp at LSU _ in addition to Ole Miss and Mississippi State _ this summer. He said the Rebels and Bulldogs are basically even at this point. His focus, he said, is on improving his game.

"I think I can work on a lot," Morris said. "I'm pretty decent in run blocking, but I can work on hand placement and staying low. I didn't allow any sacks, but I feel I can work on my punch."

Morris, who has a 2.6 core grade-point average and a 16 on the ACT (he's taking it again in April), said he's looking for a winning program with "great coaches."

"I'm going to sit down and talk to my mom and see what my major will be," Morris said. "That will be a big part of it. I haven't figured out what I'm going to major in."

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