Patriot senior center fielder Josh Morrison, who committed to Pitt in the fall of his junior year, is on the market again. He and the school parted ways recently after Morrison got in trouble off the field.
So Morrison now feels the anxiety, and the renewed excitement, of being a recruited player instead of a committed one. George Mason and the College of Charleston are among the schools where he might end up. (GMU had another Josh Morrison in the early 2000s).
In recent weeks, conversational queries such as mine, “You’re still going to Pitt, right?” have resulted in having to explain all over again that, no, he’s not going to Pitt, nor does he know where he’s going.
“At a party, I made a bad judgment call, got in trouble by the police,” Morrison said. “A party got busted and I ran away. I didn’t hurt anybody. I wasn’t driving. It was just bad judgment. I learned from it, had to be a man about it. I tell all these coaches that talk to me now exactly what happened.
“I might not be as much of a liability as kids who are going to college and never got in trouble before and think they’re invincible going into another environment that’s more crazy and haven’t had a life-changing incident like this.”
While Morrison, the leadoff hitter for Patriot (10-2), clearly regrets what happened — he said he performed community service before his court date to show that he had learned from his mistake — he is at the same time eager to win over new suitors. He missed that.
“The recruiting process is one of the best times of your high school career,” he said. “That’s when I play the best, too, when I know I have someone in the stands watching me or scouting me. College guys or pro guys. It really gets a fire in my belly.
“I haven’t had that since October of my junior year, so pretty much since my sophomore summer. You’re playing showcases with all these guys who are still getting recruited and you’re kind of just playing and sitting there.”
Patriot Coach Sammy Serrano has noticed greater maturity in Morrison in recent weeks and said his center fielder has been focused throughout his unplanned transition from Pitt recruit to available player.
“I really think that this has helped him grow as a person more than anything I’ve ever seen a kid have to go through,” Serrano said. “He’s the poster child for what we talk about as coaches: What you do outside of school, what you do with your books, what you do on [social media] or any other thing that could get you in trouble, it will come back to bite you. [Players] don’t always believe us. It does take someone to skin their knee before they realize maybe we should listen or maybe that person’s not just blowing smoke.”
Said Morrison: “Hopefully, kids will learn from what happened to me. One night of having fun with your friends isn’t worth it. Because most of them don’t have what you have to lose.”
NUMBER CRUNCH: 6
Consecutive wins for Hylton baseball after stumbling to a surprisingly down 2-6 start despite returning almost all the key pieces from a Virginia AAA state semifinal team. “Honestly, I think the kids were feeling the weight of the world early in the year,” Bulldogs Coach Craig Flesher said. Hylton topped Potomac (Va.), 10-0, in six innings Tuesday night.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
Check out No. 5 St. John’s (12-4, 7-2) at No. 7 Paul VI Catholic (14-5, 7-3) in WCAC baseball at 6 p.m. St. John’s on Tuesday knocked off No. 4 DeMatha, 5-2, for a fifth straight win. Paul VI has won six of its last seven. Paul VI beat St. John’s, 6-5, on March 21.