Quintin Morris is looking to pick up where he left off last year.
Last season, Morris led the team in all three major receiving categories. He finished the season with 55 receptions, 649 yards and four touchdowns. He also earned a spot on the second-team All-MAC.
But unlike last season, his senior year has been shortened to a six-game slate.
After seeing how other conferences in the NCAA have approached this football season, the MAC decided to establish a six-game season starting on Nov. 4. While it is not a full season, Morris does still see this six-game schedule as a positive.
“Once they made the announcement, it was just exciting to know we are about to go back out there and get on the football field being able to put some pads on. It was a great feeling,” he said.
Morris will be entering his second season playing as tight end. Although his new position will be more physically demanding, Tight Ends Coach Chris Hedden has noticed that Morris has had no problems making the switch.
“We put a lot on that position in our offense to be able to do a lot of different things. Part of his receiver background made it easy from a routes aspect and I think athletically and physically he can do the blocking. I think it has been an easy transition for him,” Hedden said.
Morris has accepted the challenge of learning the blocking techniques of a tight end.
“I feel like I have definitely learned a lot and stepped up my game in that area. I’m always trying to learn and trying to improve from a position standpoint,” he said.
At this stage in Morris’ career, not only does he have to worry about the team’s success, but also his personal success heading into the season, as he hopes to move on to the NFL after college.
“For the team, I got to be able to bring guys along so we can go out and win a MAC championship. Personally, I know there are more things that I got to focus on if I have dreams and aspirations to play at the next level,” Morris said.
After being a focal point in the passing game last season, expectations are high for Morris. Without putting numbers on Morris, the coaches know what they want to see from him.
Eliminating mental errors, playing at full speed and not thinking, but “knowing what you are doing because it’s year two in the offense,” are what coaches hope to see from Morris, Hedden said.
The expectations on Morris are not all about his on-field production. As a senior, he is expected to be a leader for this team.
“I think the biggest thing he has to do for our offense and for our team in general is when you are an elite player, you got to have the habits and go out and practice the right way and hold yourself accountable. If he can do that, then I think, because he is a good player, naturally other people are going to mimic what he does, how he approaches things, how his attitude is,” Hedden said.
Even with a shortened season, Morris can still achieve his goals of winning a MAC championship and displaying his talent for the next level and his growth at the tight end spot.