Sammy Morrison has done his part to generate offers from a handful of Football Bowl Subdivision football teams, using his versatility and speed at the cornerback position to make his mark on a Gonzaga squad loaded with highly touted recruits.
But there was one college– the place where both of his parents went, where his father, Darryl Morrison, starred at cornerback before playing for the Washington Redskins from 1993 to 1996 — that the rising senior held a special affinity for, tabbing it as his “dream school” in a 2005 Facebook message.
Last week, that school extended Morrison an offer during an unofficial visit and on Tuesday, he committed to play for the Wildcats.
“I’ve always had an interest in Arizona with my parents going there and all the stories I’ve heard, and then as I started getting into recruiting, it went from an interest to a love,” Morrison said. “I saw the campus and just fell in love with the program.”
Following a four-hour visit, Morrison went to the office of Wildcats Coach Rich Rodriguez, who offered a scholarship to the defensive back on the spot. Though the gesture tugged on Morrison’s heartstrings, he said his father ensured that he considered all of his options before making a commitment.
After weighing nearly 15 offers from the likes of Virginia, Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech and Washington State, Morrison kept coming back to his first love, leading him to call the coaching staff and commit Tuesday.
“Any school that offered me is a blessing, and I took them all into full consideration, so even if I never got an offer from Arizona, I’d still be content with the one of the other great options I had,” Morrison said. “But I feel like Arizona just happened at the right time, and I’m grateful to be able to go there.”
Once he arrives, Morrison has been told that, with most of Arizona’s secondary graduating after the 2014 season and former Friendship Collegiate All-Met Jalen Tabor switching from the Wildcats to enroll at Florida this past winter, Morrison will be in contention for a starting spot or impactful role at the cornerback or safety position.
Morrison is the fourth Gonzaga player from the 2015 class to commit to an FBS school in the past three months. He joins offensive lineman Richie Petitbon (Alabama), quarterback Nick Johns (Virginia) and running back Reggie Corbin (Illinois) and will ultimately be followed by highly touted receiver Jabari Greenwood.
“I think I can bring a high competitiveness to Arizona, which is something that spawned from my early days working out with my dad,” Morrison said. “I like to take pride in being a smart player and I’m always working on my technique, and I feel like those things will continue to grow as I play in college.”