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HomeSportsUT
Published: Sunday, 10/28/2001

Rockets notebook: UT's Morris follows family tradition

BY RON MUSSELMAN
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

When University of Toledo outside linebacker Corey Morris needs advice about football, he doesn't have to look very far.

His older brother Aric is a strong safety for the NFL's Tennessee Titans.

“Aric has always been the one in the family who has kept me motivated,” said Corey, a fifth-year senior from Berkley, Mich. “He was the one who got me off my butt and on to the football field when I was a fat, lazy kid.”

As an 11-year-old, Corey weighed 115 pounds. He was too big to play peewee football in his age group, so he played up one classifications.

“I started out as an offensive tackle,” he said. “I was one of the biggest guys on the team even in the 12-and-over age group.”

By the time Morris arrived at Berkley High, he had become a much-better conditioned football player. He also had changed positions, becoming a starter at linebacker and running back. He was named to the Detroit News' Dream Team as a senior after gaining 1,268 yards and making 130 tackles.

As a junior, he and Aric played side-by-side at inside linebacker. “That was one of the best years of my life,” he said.

After graduation, Aric (5-10, 212) headed off to Michigan State, where he was a four-year letterman at strong safety. He was a fifth-round draft pick of the Titans in the 2000 NFL draft.

Corey (6-0, 208) also was offered a scholarship by Michigan State, but chose Toledo to help get his academics in order.

Morris will graduate in December with a degree in public relations.

Morris, a two-year starter and three-year letterman, also is getting the job done on the field. He had 10 tackles, forced one fumble and broke up one pass last night in UT's 21-20 victory over Navy at the Glass Bowl.

For the season, he has 52 stops and a team-high three interceptions and three forced fumbles.

“Corey's having a great year,” UT coach Tom Amstutz said.

QUICK HITS: The 285 rushing yards allowed by Toledo last night was the most since the Rockets surrendered 317 in a 28-14 loss to Miami on Sept. 26, 1998. ... Tom Ward (Defiance) had a team-high 14 tackles. ... Andy Boyd (Whitmer) had a fumble recovery and interception. ... Toledo was held sackless for the first time this season, but Navy only attempted 14 passes. ... Defensive end Leo Frierson (Fostoria) had missed the past four games with a fractured tibia. He had three tackles. ... The announced crowd of 38,852 set a Mid-American Conference record, breaking the previous mark of 36,502 set by UT against Northern Illinois on Sept. 29. ... Quarterback Tavares Bolden is completing 68.1 percent of his passes (145 of 213) this season. He has 10 touchdown passes, three rushing TDs and has caught a pass for another. Bolden was sacked once last night but completed 21 of 29 passes for 282 yards and one TD. ... UT's special teams had another dismal night. Punter Brandon Hannum delivered a 19-yarder; returner Paul Dye fumbled a kickoff; returner Delano Scott fumbled a punt return and Todd France (Springfield) missed his second field goal in two weeks, a 40-yarder that was partially blocked. ... UT's homercoming record is 50-22. ... The Rockets return to Mid-American Conference West Division play on Tuesday, Nov. 6, when they battles Western Michigan. UT is 2-1 in the division and tied with Ball State. Western Michigan is 1-1 and in fourth place.



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