Family helps keep Michigan football recruit Shane Morris grounded
Unlike most of those moms, Jennifer’s son Shane Morris is considered one of the top high school quarterbacks in the country.
Dan Brenner | AnnArbor.com
Shane led Warren De La Salle Pilots to a 35-7 win over Pioneer on Friday at Hollway Field and next fall, Shane will be playing across the street for the University of Michigan.
It’s a lot of pressure for a kid who hasn’t graduated high school yet.
So far Shane seems to be handling it pretty well, thanks in large part to his family.
“His family is the foundation for what he is and who he is today. He’s just a special kid," said Dave Schwartz, Shane’s grandfather. “He comes from a good family.”
And his family has been with him every step of the way to Michigan. Jennifer recalls visiting the campus for the first time with Shane and sitting in head coach Brady Hoke’s office the day he committed to play for the Wolverines.
“I kind of knew he was going to,” Jennifer said. “I think he really blew coach Hoke away because I don’t think he expected it. (Hoke) jumped up and grabbed him. It was really exciting.”
It was a dream come true for Shane who grew up as a Michigan fan, even though football wasn’t his only sport. Schwartz said his grandson played soccer, basketball and baseball among other sports as a kid.
“Anything that had to do with a ball, he played it. It just came natural to him,” Schwartz said.
Shane didn’t start out as the quarterback in the family however. His younger brother Brent, a junior who caught a 19-yard pass from Shane on Friday, was their team’s quarterback in pee-wee football and Shane played wide receiver. One day their father, who was coaching the team, switched the pair.
It was a good decision.
A five-star recruit, Shane has fast become one of the most anticipated recruits to come to Michigan in years. But being an athlete is secondary to his education, at least in Jennifer’s eyes.
“That means more than playing football. Knowing he is going to get to go to school and pick a career and have that opportunity,” Jennifer said.
With so much riding on the shoulders of such a young man, its only natural for people to wince every time Shane gets hit during a game. As his mother, Jennifer always sees it a bit differently.
“It scares me. I sit there by myself and I stare at him and as they’re coming from behind, I just scream,” Jennifer said. “It’s scary; I worry every play out. You never know what is going to happen.”
Shane’s grandmother Elaine Schwartz agreed, and said she always breaths a sigh of relief when the games are over.
“Now he needs to just get his senior year done and move on,” Elaine said.
He still has some football left to play for that senior year. Morris threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns against Pioneer.
And once that senior year is done, Shane will move across to Michigan Stadium, where if everything goes to plan, eventually, more than 110,000 screaming fans will be watching his every move. Jennifer knows it’s going to be a lot to take in.
“It's overwhelming, it's very overwhelming. And I’ll probably have to have ear plugs because I won’t want to hear it,” Jennifer said. “We’re all excited for him, he’s really excited, he’s worked hard for it.
Matt Durr covers sports for AnnArbor.com.