Chris Morris Thread....

Chris Morris | #51

Center - Michigan St.

Height: 6'4"
Weight: 305 '

Chris Morris is a gritty player who takes charge on the Spartans offensive line. He is a leader amongst his players and is very experienced. Morris has very deceptive athletic ability that many look past. He has good footwork, and can slide well on the offensive line. He plays well in open spaces, and can pull when needed. He has terrific blocking technique, and has good fundamentals too. Do not sleep on his speed and quickness either. He really needs to be more physical though, and he sometimes gets over powered by bigger players. He does lack ideal height too, and needs some more weight added to his frame. He is almost too finesse sometimes and needs to be more aggressive. Morris will definitely be drafted, but it will probably be in the second day. I like him going in either the fourth round or fifth round in the 2006 draft. I feel that with his great athletic ability, Morris could be a sleeper prospect in the draft.


• Is surprisingly very athletic
• Good speed and quickness
• Can open up holes
• Good technique and fundamentals


• Isn't really as physical as he should be
• Needs to be more aggressive
• Lacks ideal height
Chris Morris

Center - Ranked #10

Michigan State

Height: 6-3 1/2
Weight: 298 lbs.
Forty Time: 5.28 - Pro Day


Chris Morris attended Temperance-Bedford High School in Lambertville, Michigan where he played football and basketball. He started at center and defensive tackle for three years on the football team. As a senior he totaled 42 tackles and 5 sacks on his way to first team all-state honors. He accepted a scholarship to Michigan State where he sat out the 2001 season as a redshirt. He saw action in 9 games the following season before going down with a sprained knee, effectively ending his season. He was named academic all-big ten for his performance in the classroom. As sophomore, Morris became the team’s fulltime starter at center, starting all 13 games on the season. He was named academic all-big ten for the second consecutive season. He started all 12 games as a junior, on his way to honorable mention all-big ten honors. He was named academic all-big ten for the third consecutive season.


Chris Morris has a great deal of experience against top competition, having started since his freshman season at center for the Spartans in the big ten. During that time he has proven to be a very durable player who rarely misses time due to injury. He is an intelligent player and a hard worker, both on the football field and in the classroom. He is a tough player with a non-stop motor. He is quick off the snap and is a solid run blocker who displays good technique. He has good footwork in pass protection. Morris isn’t the most athletic offensive lineman and he has problems getting to the second level in the running game. Chris lacks great size and strength and will have trouble against bigger, stronger defensive tackles. He would benefit from bulking up and increasing his strength. Chris Morris is a solid center prospect who could develop into a good backup in time. He has a chance to be drafted late on the second day of the 2006 NFL draft.
All Eyes On Center

Chris Morris anchors a hard-working, highly effective offensive line.

Oct. 3, 2005

By Stephani Cramer, MSU Sports Information Student Assistant

For the past two seasons, the offensive line has been the strongest part of a successful Spartan offense. As such, it was the unit that had the highest expectations set for it when it returned to the gridiron this season.

Anchoring that offensive line is senior center Chris Morris, an All-American candidate, and a preseason candidate for the Rimington Trophy, given annually to college football's top center. Being part of such a strong and well-respected offensive line puts healthy pressure on the Spartan front line to perform even better than last year.

"People are realizing that we're a good bunch of kids and we know what we're doing on the field," said Morris. "Defenses are going to be gunning for us now. They're going to be trying every which way to beat us, and we've just got to make sure we're on top of every play."

Despite the individual attention Morris is getting for his performance on the field, he's quick to point out that the offensive line is a solid, hard-working unit, not just a single player.

"People look at the center as the conductor of the offensive line," Morris said, "but I'm not the only one making the calls. Everyone has their own calls to make, I'm just the starter - I'll start by calling off the defense and everyone will work off that. It's not just one person, it's the five or six guys working together that are going to win the big games for you. Winning is a team thing."

The outcome of every game is more important to Morris than what individual awards he is given at the end of the season. All he needs to make him happy at the end of every game is to see the running backs have done well, and that quarterback Drew Stanton doesn't have grass stains on his knees. Those are signs that Morris and his offensive line have done their jobs.

With the necessity for six players to be on the same wavelength, committed to the same goal, and willing to make the same sacrifices, communication is essential along the line of scrimmage. Morris believes that communicating off the field is just as important, if not more important, than communicating with each other on the field. It helps build trust between players, which is another essential ingredient to the success of the football program.

"You have to be able to trust your teammates 100 percent," said Morris. "If you know they're doing the right thing off the field, then you know they're going to work hard on the field and get the job done." Morris, after three years working deep in the trenches and starting 28 consecutive games, was named one of the team captains this season. He smiles in awe when talking about the honor of being named a captain.

Chris Morris is a candidate for the Rimington Trophy, handed out to the nation's top center.

"It was an unbelievable feeling to be one of the few," Morris said. "I'll be known as a captain for Michigan State University through the history of the school. To be a member of the group of people that have led previous Spartan teams is a definite honor."

As captain, Morris has taken it upon himself to make sure the younger players are living up to the expectations set for them by the football program. It's only natural for a captain to be expected to help keep the younger players working hard in practice, making sure they're learning the playbook and going to class. Morris also knows it's his job to pressure the younger players when they aren't doing things right.

After all, Morris had some great players doing the same for him when he was a rookie.

"I credit everything I know to the center and the offensive linemen before me - Brian Ottney and Paul Harker and Joe Tate," Morris said. "They were amazing teachers of the game. They showed me how to practice hard and how to play the game with extreme intensity. I'm just trying to pass that down to the younger kids."

Being a captain automatically means that the younger players will look to Morris to set an example by actions, as well as words - a challenge that Morris relishes. It helps him be more prepared, whether he's watching tape, watching himself, or studying the defense during a game. His veteran experience on the line of scrimmage has given him the chance to develop into an effective player. No longer needing to think about the upcoming play once it is called provides a chance for Morris to read the opposing defense.

"I've got our offense down pat," said Morris, "so as soon as a play is called out, I know exactly what I'm doing. I get more of a chance to pick up on the little things the defense is doing - if they're leaning in their stance or if they're giving away a blitz."

The downside to all his experience in the Michigan State trenches is that it will soon be ending. As a senior, Morris is taking all the time he can to enjoy things he took for granted as a rookie.

"I'm making sure I enjoy every day in practice," Morris said. "I make sure I come in every day enjoying everything I'm doing because I don't have much time left."

Morris wasn't always sure he wanted to attend Michigan State, having grown up near the Ohio border and being a Toledo fan. However, he also watched Big Ten football, and decided that was the road for him. Despite every preconceived thought he had about Big Ten football, he watched those ideas become so much more than he had ever expected.

"My time here has far exceeded what I expected," Morris said. "It's been the best time of my life."

So keep your eyes on the senior center from Lambertville, Michigan. It won't be much longer before he gives up the Spartan jersey for an NFL jersey, and starts making a name for himself in the professional ranks. Long after he's left the Spartans, however, his impact will be felt by the younger players that set up on the offensive line.
Chris Morris, C

Michigan State


The three-year starter has been the main reason for the stellar protection afforded quarterback Drew Stanton, as the Spartans ranked fifth in the nation in total offense in 2005, gaining 497.27 yards per game. A model of consistency, Morris graded out 90 percent or higher for blocking consistency in 41 of his last 45 games. Despite being overshadowed by the Big Ten Conference's heralded centers, Greg Eslinger of Minnesota and Nick Mangold of Ohio State, it is Morris' athleticism, especially his ability to move laterally along the line of scrimmage that has allowed him to attain such high marks.

Morris was a Prep Stars All-American and ranked among the Midwest's top 80 prospects as a senior at Bedford High School. He was rated among the state's top players by The Detroit News (No. 11), Detroit Free Press (No. 17) and Lansing State Journal (No. 21), adding first-team All-State honors. He recorded 42 tackles as a senior, including nine for losses with five sacks. He was a three-year starter at center and defensive tackle. He also started twice on the basketball team.

Morris redshirted in 2001 at Michigan State. He started the first nine games at center in 2002, but missed the final three games with a left knee injury that required reconstructive surgery. He earned Academic All-District IV honors as a sophomore in 2003, ranking second on the squad with 46 knockdowns.

Morris was an All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention in 2004. He collected academic All-District honors for the third time and registered 80 knockdowns for the season. He made only 37 knockdowns as a senior, but graded out at 96 percent for blocking consistency.


Positives: Has good body structure with a big rear, wide hips and big thighs...Works well on combination blocks with his guards and shows a good hand punch to shock defensive tackles coming off the snap...Has enough functional quickness to gain position after the snap, using his hands effectively to turn the defender and sustain blocks...Shows the leg drive to gain movement on drive blocks...Gets proper arm extension to grab and toss blockers out of the way...Could bring added value as a long snapper, a duty he handled in the past on field goals and extra points.

Negatives: Frame is at maximum growth potential and while it has good mass, it displays only adequate strength and muscle tone...Has strong hands, but tends to grab and lock on to players too long, resulting in costly holding penalties...Despite his size, he is more of a finesse blocker, even though he has the hand punch to shock blockers...Lacks the explosion needed to attack defenders quickly...Has poor balance on the move and is a liability on traps, as he is not quick enough to move and finish...Does a marginal job of adjusting to linebackers when working in space...Too soft in gaining position and will get pushed back into the pocket by a strong bull rush...Needs to deliver better pop on contact...Shows good accuracy on his long snaps, but needs to be quicker getting the ball back.


Campus: 5.3 in the 40-yard dash...410-pound bench press...515-pound squat...4.56 20-yard shuttle...33-inch vertical jump...10 1/8-inch hands...Right-handed...30/43 Wonderlic score.


2002: Sat out the final three games, vs. Indiana, Purdue and Penn State, after suffering left knee anterior cruciate, medial collateral and meniscus ligament tears in practice (11/04). Underwent reconstructive surgery (12/18) to repair the ACL tear.

2004: Suffered a right foot (metatarsal) stress fracture during a July workout.


Four-time Academic All-District IV selection...Started his last 45 games for the Spartans... Graded over 90 percent for blocking consistency in 41 of his last 45 games...Recorded 186 career knockdown blocks and allowed only one sack (vs. Indiana, 2005) over the last two seasons (approximately 750 passing plays)...Morris, who graduated last May with a 3.5 grade-point average in Finance, began pursuing a master's degree in Kinesiology...In 2005, he and quarterback Drew Stanton earned Academic All-America honors, marking the first time Michigan State has had multiple Academic All-Americans since 1986, when both strong safety Dean Altobelli and linebacker Shane Bullough earned first-team honors.


Attended Bedford (Temperance, Mich.) High School, playing football for head coach Ray Moran...Prep Stars All-American and ranked among the Midwest's top 80 prospects as a senior...Rated among the state's top players by The Detroit News (No. 11), Detroit Free Press (No. 17) and Lansing State Journal (No. 21), adding first-team All-State honors...

Recorded 42 tackles as a senior, including nine for losses with five sacks, and was a three-year starter at center and defensive tackle...Also started twice on the basketball team.


Earned his Bachelor's degree in Finance in May 2005...Is currently pursuing a master's degree in Kinesiology...Son of Michael and Jacqueline Morris...Born 2/22/83...Resides in Lambertville, Michigan.
Position: Center
College: Michigan State
Class: Senior
Height/Weight: 6’4”, 305 lbs.
Birthdate: 02/22/1982
Hometown: Lambertville, MI

2005 Season Statistics:

Rushing offense: 201.8 Yards per game - 20th
Passing offense: 295.5 Yards per game - 11th

Brief Bio:

Morris finds himself in a tough disposition as we was not invited to the NFL Combine. A highly decorated collegiate performer, he will have a chance to make up some of the ground he has lost at the Michigan State Pro Day on March 18th. Morris is a three-time Academic All Big 10 Center and has started every game for three years.


Morris has the mentality of a work-horse. He showed the ability to anchor against top rated DT's on a consistent basis. He gets great pulls and moves well laterally along the line of scrimmage. He can also get to the second level of players and hit line-backers in open space. He has shown great durability and consistency. He possesses the intelligence and strength to play in almost any scheme and be successful at the next level.


Morris needs to get stronger. He needs to work on his technique. Doesn't get a great push and open up lanes in the running game. He is still raw and has a limited upside.

Projected Selection:

Morris really needs to have an explosive Pro Day workout to improve his stock. If he does he is easily a second day pick. He could go as early as the 4th or 5th round.
Raiders Select Morris in 7th

April 30, 2006

The Oakland Raiders have selected Michigan State C Chris Morris with the first of two picks in the 7th round of the 2006 NFL Draft. The 6'4", 305-pounder was a three-year starter for the Spartans.
Morris started his last 45 games for the Spartans. He recorded 186 career knockdown blocks and allowed only one sack over the past two seasons. In 2005, he earned Academic All-America honors for the fourth straight year.

Morris was an All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention in 2004. earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the third-straight year... started all 12 games at center in 2004...produced a career-best 80 pancake blocks.

In 2003, Morris started all 13 games at center...ranked second on the team in pancake blocks with 46.

As a freshman, Morris earned an Academic All-Big Ten selection and saw action in the first nine games of the 2002 season


PrepStar All-American...ranked among the Midwest's top 80 prospects (No. 79)...rated among the state's top players by The Detroit News (No. 11), Detroit Free Press (No. 17) and Lansing State Journal (No. 21)...first-team all-state selection...recorded 42 tackles as a senior, including nine for losses with five sacks... three-year starter at center and defensive tackle for Coach Ray Moran at Bedford Senior High School in Temperance, Mich...two-year starter on the basketball team...son of Michael and Jaqueline Morris...born Feb. 22, 1983...earned his bachelor's degree in finance in May 2005...currently pursuing a master's degree in kinesiology.
His pro-day numbers look good. He could use some more strength though.

Good agility and Wonderlic. This is definitely a guy we can work with. I know Art Shell and the OL guys are happy about what we drafted.
Spartans' Morris gets call from Raiders


Just five seconds before his name popped up on television screens around the world as a draft pick of the Oakland Raiders, Chris Morris took a call on his cell phone.

It was the Raiders giving him precious little warning that pandemonium was about to break out in his parents' home in Lambertville, where Morris and his family and friends had assembled to watch the NFL draft.

"There hadn't been much communication with Oakland before that call," Morris said, "but it was the Raiders on the phone telling me they were about to pick me. And then it happened and everyone in the room started screaming, so I knew my name was already up on the TV."

Morris, a Bedford High grad and the starting center for Michigan State for the past three seasons, had worked out individually for the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Jets, and gone through the paces for a number of other scouts at the Spartans' pro workout day in March.

He was not certain his name would be called at all in the draft, and considered going into an NFL camp as a free agent a distinct possibility.

"This just shows how you never really know what is going to happen, or when," Morris said. "I'd waited out al-most the whole day, and all of a sudden that call came and I'm with the Raiders. The ordeal - it just wears you out."

Morris will fly to California on Thursday and take part in a two-day mini camp with the Raiders.

"I talked with a couple of the coaches for a bit, and they said they were glad to have me, and they were looking forward to later this week so we can get to work together," Morris said.

"It's down to the grindstone now - the draft and all the wondering about where I'll be playing is over with. Now the real work begins."

Morris, who was an important part of Michigan State's high-powered spread offense and an Academic All-American for the Spartans, said he wants to start absorbing material right away.

"I'll have to learn their offense as quickly as I can, and pick up every bit of information that is available," he said. "It's a new challenge, but I'm really excited to be a part of the Raiders."
How are draft differs from others Art has been to..

Draft weekend, for a first-year head coach like Shell, is the time to examine, discuss and collect fresh young talent. Theoretically, the draft provides the foundation of the team — which may be coached by Shell and his assistants but belongs to owner Al Davis.

"Of course, Mr. Davis is the general manager; he's the one in charge," Shell conceded. "But the way we do things here is a little bit different from where I've been in the past, Kansas City and Atlanta. The process here involves input from the whole group — coaches, scouts, everybody — and then the final decision comes up. They'll ask, is this OK? And then we'll agree and move forward. It was good.

"When I was in Kansas City, the staff wasn't in the room during the draft. You go in your office and sit there until you're called. With us, everybody is in there, hearing everything that's going on. Up until the final minute, before the (official draft) card is turned in, everybody is having input on their position."
Chris Morris

Name Chris Morris

School Michigan State
Class 2006
Height 603.4
Weight 299
Speed 5.30 (Combine)
Position C


Rimington Trophy Candidate

All American Candidate

Morris is one of the more underrated centers in the NCAA. Leading a very good rushing attack last year, Morris has opened some gaping holes for the backs to run through and allow for QB Drew Stanton to set up and throw. Morris has great technique, and has warded off many great defenders in the Big 10. A quick snap and nimble feet allow Morris to control the play from the line of scrimmage. He does not possess the athleticism to move to the next level and take out LB and DBs. A class act who is one of the Big 10s best Centers this. An Academic All Star as well, Morris will most certainly be drafted in the NFL Draft come 6th or 7th round.
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