Oregon State landed one of their top JUCO prospects in Mesa College cornerback Demarlon Morris this week. The 6-foot, 185-pound ballhawk chose the Beavers over offers from Cal, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas State and Wisconsin.
"I just felt like it was the place I wanted to continue my football career," he said. "I had a good connection with the coaches and the teammates I met when I was there. I think they're headed in the right direction and it's the right fit."
Morris had five interceptions and 52 tackles in the fall for Mesa College and his size, cover skills and ball skills give him an opportunity to step in and make an immediate contribution in Corvallis.
"They definitely want me to come in and compete for a starting position. It's a big thing for me. It's all about getting there, picking things up and the quicker I pick it up, the quicker I can get involved with the team. If I come in and make plays, I should get the spot."
Morris plans to get to campus in late May or early June. At that point, his Division-1 goal will be complete.
A graduate of Julian High School in Chicago, Morris had 12 interceptions as a senior and was named his conference's defensive player of the year.
After having his recruitment take him out West and on an unusual path, he has advice for others who may find themselves in a similar position.
"If you go the JUCO route, my advice is to stay positive. I don't think JUCO is for everybody and it isn't easy, but you have to stay strong, stay focused and go in with the mindset that I'm here to get to the next level. It's better for you to do the right thing, stay out of trouble and remember your dream to play at the next level. The quicker you do that, the quicker you'll get out of there."