Apopka offensive lineman Dazzie Morris has committed to play college football at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, and he is excited about the opportunity.
“I’m feeling good about it,” Morris said. “It’s Division 1 [Football Championship Subdivision] football and they win … they’re the MEAC champions.
“Mostly I like it because it’s just like Apopka. It’s hard work, it’s discipline and they harp on family.”
Morris, who played center for the 2012 Florida Class 8A state champion Blue Darters, and has also played guard and tackle at Apopka, said he sees a little bit of his coach Rick Darlington in the way B-CU coach Brian Jenkins carries his authority.
“He’s cool. He’s really intense and that’s a good thing,” Morris said. “He asks a lot of his players on and off the field and that’s also a good thing.
“He talks about graduating his people and it’s the part that people don’t think about so much, but you gotta get your degree when you go to college, not just play football.”
B-CU has been on the Dazzie Morris wagon for a long time. The coaches saw him play last spring at Daytona Beach Memorial Stadium when the Blue Darters faced Seabreeze in the spring game, and BC-U coaches were on the horn with a scholarship offer the next day.
Morris said he’s had about 12 other FCS offers, including FAMU, North Carolina A&T, Charleston Southern and Presbyterian College. The 6-foot-3, 288-pound Morris — who is actually up to about 305 now even though he playes basketball too — figured he might be getting looks from larger, Football Bowl Subdivision schools, but he also has not wasted much thought on what he didn’t receive, instead considering himself “blessed” to have what he does.
“Oh yeah .. everybody’s been telling me ‘you should have a lot more offers than you do and all that,’ “ Morris said. “I just say ‘probably should,’ but you don’t wanna be selfish and I’m just thankful and blessed that I had 12, even if it wasn’t the top schools like everybody else had.”
He certainly had a great career at Apopka, that included being a three-year starter.
“I was talking to Coach D [Darlington] in the office the other day and him and the other coaches were saying no way anybody could have had a better senior year than me,” Morris continued. “I was starting center, team captain on a state championship team, All-Metro, All-Central Florida, All-State ... that’s my senior year. I was pretty blessed. Most people would dream to have a senior year like I had.”
He’s a versatile lineman who will be able to fill spots where Jenkins needs him, but Morris knows that not every lineman can play center.
“I like both [guard and center], but center is the one I’m playing. It’s a better look for me with my size,” Morris said. “If there was a chance for me to go to the NFL that would be a better look. Plus, [B-CU] is graduating the starter and the second-string centers, so they have no center on the roster. They also graduated the left guard. So they have some spots.”
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.