One of Jackson Morris’ goals when he entered Seymour High School was to play football at the next level.
He said he visited four colleges in Indiana and Kentucky, and when he completed his visit to Georgetown (Ky.) College he knew that was where he wanted to go.
“The main factor was how well I was welcomed on campus when I went there,” Morris said.
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The Seymour senior signed a letter of intent Monday to play at Georgetown and plans to major in business.
Morris was a slot receiver/runner for the Owls. He will play the same position at Georgetown, although will only line up as a receiver.
Morris was a four-year starter for the Owls.
“I enjoyed every part of it,” Morris said, adding that it was exciting advancing to the championship game of the sectional the past two years and winning eight games last fall.
Owls coach Josh Shattuck said, “He was a four-year guy. All the seniors have a special place for myself and I know for Coach (Brice) Darling as well. Those guys were freshmen the year we came in.
“Jackson’s definitely been through all the lows and all the highs that football has to offer. You get pretty emotional with kids when you think how much they’ve developed as individuals, but then how much they’ve shaped where our program is, which is what we’re really proud of.”
Shattuck saw Morris make big strides each year.
“By his junior year he was the best, or one of the best athletes on the field every game,” Shattuck said. “He had a phenomenal end to his career his last couple seasons and that’s just a testament to his work ethic and a testament to his mental ability to not hang his head and get down because of those results when he was having to play as a freshman.”
Morris, who began his high school career at quarterback, holds the school record for career receptions with 141. Shattuck said Morris holds the school mark by 42 receptions.
The Owls faced both man-to-man and zone coverage during the season.
“I think it’s easier to catch the ball against man-to-man defense,” Morris said. “I can fake a kid out and get in my route and get open.”
Last fall Morris caught 51 passes for 680 yards, an average of 13.3 yards per catch, and had six touchdowns receiving.
“I think his biggest strength is his quickness,” Shattuck said. “He’s really, really quick and he’s elusive. We throw a lot of quick passes to him to get the ball in his hands early. He’s not a real tall kid so we didn’t want to throw the ball downfield to him a ton.
“We wanted to get the ball to him as quickly as possible, and what’s also lost in that is he played slot for us and he ran the ball a lot. He got in the end zone a lot. The stats don’t lie, but more importantly he was a part of us going from zero wins, to two wins, to five wins, to eight wins. There is a ton to be said about that that he’ll take with him to the next level.”
Morris attributes his success catching passes to being able to get open.
The senior rushed 51 times for 352 yards for an average of 6.9 yards per carry, and four touchdowns. He also scored seven 2-point conversions last fall for 74 points.
He was named Hoosier Hills all-conference honorable mention.
Morris began playing football in first grade in the Police Athletic League in Columbus.
Morris said he enjoyed playing for Shattuck the past four years.
The Owls were 8-4 last fall and had an 8-game winning streak.
“I’m not a college coach, and I don’t coach for them, so I can’t say exactly what he’ll do, or where he’ll fit into their system, but they’re getting a kid who started for over 40 career varsity football games at the 4A level in high school,” Shattuck said.
“They’re getting a kid who’s a weight room kid. I don’t like to compare, but he’s as athletic as any kid in our school in my opinion. He’s a kid that’s ready mentally and ready physically. He’s college-ready physically as any kid we’ve had.”
Morris is running track for the Owls this spring, and said his favorite event is the 400.