By David Villavicencio
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes have a long tradition of homegrown talent showcasing itself on the football field.
Canes legends like Michael Irvin, Sean Taylor, Jonathan Vilma, Santana Moss and Bennie Blades are just a handful of South Florida natives who shined while donning Miami’s orange and green.
Over the course of the 2013 football season, HurricaneSports.com will honor a Hurricane football player with South Florida ties as the Milam’s Market Homegrown Athlete of the Week. This week’s player spotlight is Miami native Stephen Morris.
The standout quarterback for Miami’s potent passing attack, Stephen Morris is the field general that makes the Hurricanes one of the most dangerous offenses in the country.
But before he set foot in Coral Gables, Morris shined as the quarterback at Monsignor Pace High School in Opa-Locka, Fla.
Pace has produced several Canes over the years including defensive back DeMarcus Van Dyke and safety Maurice Sikes, whose 97-yard interception return for a touchdown helped the Canes beat the rival Florida Gators 41-16 in 2002.
Like Sikes, Morris has created his fair share of highlights in his career.
As a freshman, Morris played in six games, making four starts. He threw for more than 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns and earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors after leading the Canes to a dramatic comeback win over Maryland.
Morris played behind senior Jacory Harris in 2011, appearing in five games and making one start. While the talented quarterback threw for just 283 yards that season, he flashed the tools that showed he would one day be a star at Miami.
The 2012 season marked Morris’ first as the top quarterback at Miami. After missing all of the spring recovering from back surgery, Morris started all 12 games in his junior season.
The 6-foot-2 Morris used his powerful arm and athleticism to rack up a career-best 3,345 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also set the UM single-season total offense mark with 3,415 yards and was named the 2012 Offensive MVP and won the 2012 Captain’s Award.
Now a senior, Morris has already started the season on a solid note, tossing for 160 yards and a touchdown in the season-opening win over FAU. The veteran quarterback heads into this week’s game against Florida having thrown for over 5,000 yards in his career. He will look to add to that total and guide the Hurricanes to a victory over their in-state rival.