GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Brent Morris briefly considered joining his brother at University of Michigan before deciding the opportunity to carve out his own niche at Grand Valley State was more appealing.
Morris, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound tight end and receiver with Warren De La Salle High School, committed to the Lakers with the idea of making a name as a dual-threat receiver-tight end.
“I loved everything about it,” he said of Grand Valley. “I loved the coaches, the atmosphere and I just felt like it was a real good fit for me.”
He is expected to sign his letter of intent Wednesday, part of a recruiting class of about 20 Grand Valley State expects to bring in.
Morris’ brother, Shane, is a quarterback for Michigan, and is expected to battle Devin Gardner for the starting job next season when he will be a true sophomore.
Brent Morris, who played two seasons with his brother in high school, entertained the thought of walking on with the Wolverines, and even spoke with coaches about the idea.
But, with no guarantees, Morris liked what he saw when he took a trip to the Allendale campus in mid-December, shortly after the Lakers were eliminated in the NCAA Division II semifinals.
“The only place I even had an idea of walking on was Michigan, and that was just because of my brother,” Morris said. “But I just felt Grand Valley would be a lot better for me. And my brother’s pretty happy with it. He agrees it’s the best fit.”
Morris, who also considered Saginaw Valley State, may someday become the next Jamie Potts, Grand Valley’s talent all-purpose receiver who blossomed as a redshirt sophomore last season. Morris was a receiver as a junior and moved to tight end last season, though he often split out wide to pose a coverage challenge.
“He made a huge leap from his junior to senior seasons in his strength,” said De La Salle offensive coordinator Matt Lewis. “He could always catch the ball, but he became a much more physical receiver.”
Morris knows about the performance last season of the 6-3, 225-pound Potts, who caught a team-high 54 passes and 11 touchdowns playing tight end and receiver. He wouldn’t mind taking over that role eventually.
“That’s what they (Grand Valley coaches) were saying that I’d be moving around a lot,” said Morris, who had 37 caatches for 473 yards and six touchdowns last season.
Morris said his offseason is consumed with working on his strength and his blocking skills in order to handle the rigorous dual role in college.
“I know that I won’t be the fastest guy out there,” he said. “So I figure I will get bigger and stronger and use that to my advantage,” he said.