"I was kind of the underdog last year," Christian Morris stated when asked how his junior season went. "Nobody expected me to fully bloom. They did not know I would turn out this way."
Morris transferred from Craigmont after his freshman season to get a new start at Memphis East. He only played in three games his sophomore campaign but broke out of his shell last offseason.
"I was only lifting like 225 pounds and I weighed close to 300. That's not too good (laugh). I have been working hard in the weight room the past season and I can get it up to about 285 now. I still need to get that up to 330 to 340 before I leave here but I am getting stronger."
It is his footwork that have colleges so intrigued.
"Right now I would way pass blocking is my biggest strength. My run blocking is ok but it needs to improve a lot. That's my biggest weakness. I just need to work on extending my arms and getting stronger. I should become a better run blocker when I do those two things."
Christian is still working on making a qualifying ACT score but that has not stopped some of the premier football programs from extending a verbal offer.
"Memphis, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Vandy, Purdue, Clemson, and Arkansas have all told me I have an offer. Quite a few have noticed me. I am trying to get my ACT score so I can get an official offer from everyone when they can start giving us our written offers, but I have quite a few who are recruiting me as well that have not offered me like Ohio State and Marshall. Ohio State is actually recruiting me real hard."
Which colleges are being the most consistent?
"They nine colleges who have offered me are all showing me the same amount of interest. I talk to each college one or two times a week."
Which schools has Morris visited this spring?
I went to MSU on March 31st, and I have been going to Memphis every now and then since it is the home town team. I am supposed to go to Alabama this weekend."
What new did he learn about the Mississippi State Bulldogs on the trip?
"I learned a lot from their campus, I did not know they had a beautiful campus and how their coaching staff inspires their players. They want to get you better on and off of the field. They treated me like I was already a part of their family and talked about a plan to get me qualified. They want to get my GPA up to a 3.5 or so. They want me to get the highest GPA I can possibly get."
What stood out most about State?
"Their coaches are already pushing me to do better."
Memphis' new staff has also caught his eye.
"As far as Memphis; they are the home town team. I also like their staff. They tell you everything about their program and what you need to do to be successful in their program. They have produced some good offensive linemen, not a whole lot, but some. It just depends on the player. They have not had a whole lot of good players there, you know, but they told me about the work ethic it takes to be successful. We have been talking a lot about that."
What does he like most about Memphis?
"The coaching staff and the bond we share. It is like family there. Their head coach is like a father figure to me. No matter how hard they work you, you will still be a part of the family in the end."
What does he want to see on his trip at Alabama?
"I am going to their Spring game Saturday since my parents are already going to be over there on some family business."
What is Alabama telling Christian at the current time?
"They just want me to come over there and check out my size and see the campus in order for me to get an offer."
The Rebels have also been trying to get their foot in the door.
"They are coming after me real hard. I can tell you that. Coach (Maurice) Harris has been working me real hard. He wants me and my parents to come down there so we can get a better view of the campus and meet all of the coaches."
Ole Miss had a fired staff that stayed on until the end of the season and Christian's visit to the Alabama/Ole Miss game last fall was ok at best.
"I did not get to meet any of the coaches. I mean the visit went kind of went good but nobody talked to me, so. That is why they really want me to come back down there so I can get a better look at it this time. They didn't really know me that well the first time but I kind of liked it there. I do like the new guys there so I look forward to getting down there again."
What is going on with the Tennessee Vols?
"Coach Sam Pittman likes me a lot. They like how I play ball. They also like my competitiveness. I am going to their camp this summer and I also like there facilities their."
What stands out about Tennessee the most?
"I like their offensive line coach. Also a player form here at Memphis East that played for Tennessee, Dan Williams, made it to the league."
Morris is no hurry to make a decision.
"I want to take my official visits first. I will make it sometime after my season is over. I just want to go to the place that pushes academics and produces good offensive tackles. Also I want to go where they need me the most not where they want me the most. Basically it will come down to where I can see myself suiting up in their uniform."
Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org