May 28, 2009

Morris looks to impress at Nike Camp

While making an early commitment to a college takes the pressure off when it comes to recruiting, it also can lead to being undervalued by recruiting experts. James Morris was Iowa's first commitment in the Class of 2010, but the Gatorade Player of the Year in Iowa last season hasn't generated much buzz because he committed to Iowa over a year ago.

The 6-foot-2 and 215 pound two-way star at Solon High School is fine with that fate when it comes to stars and attention.

"I think that goes with the territory when you commit early and when you don't do the combines. I'm sort of in the position where those things really don't benefit me in the long run," Morris said.

That might be about to change.

Next weekend, Morris will make his way to Champaign, IL to compete at the Nike Combine on Saturday.

"I just want to go there and show what I am all about. I think I will do pretty well and surprise some people," Morris said.

In addition to the Nike Camp, Morris will be attending a one day camp for the Hawkeyes on June 20th and he will be working hard with his Solon Spartans teammates in the weight room and in 7 on 7 events.

"I know Solon is doing a bunch of 7 on 7 games and we will be playing teams like Dowling, CR Washington, and other good teams from the area. Then we have our camp and weightlifting three times a week."

Morris said he is trying to work on a few potential Iowa recruits to come in for the one day camp in June. He is also already becoming close with the two other Hawkeye commits for the Class of 2010, who both happen to be penciled in to play linebacker with Morris.

"I hung out with Jim (Poggi) when he was in Iowa City. I spent the entire day with him and he is a good guy," Morris said. "I also text with Austin (Gray) quite a bit and he is coming down for an Iowa camp this summer so I am going to try and meet up with him when he is in town."

This spring, the multi-sport athlete moved from the wrestling mat to track, where he and his teammates recently participated in the state meet. Morris participated in two running events and while he was happy with his individual performance an injury to a teammate meant the team did not perform as well as he would have hoped.

"I was happy with the way I ran at state. I had my best time in the 200. I hadn't done hurdles before this year, but I thought I did ok and improved my speed," he said. "We had our fastest guy get hurt before the meet, so we didn't do as well as we would have liked to. But, we went there and competed as hard as we could. We ended up finishing 10th in the 4x2 and 7th in the shuttle."

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