CLEMSON - When Kelvin Morris suits up for Clemson in 2002, those who remember
him from high school may have a hard time recognizing the former state prep
On the field and off.
Morris, the former Timmonsville High School standout who originally committed
to Clemson during his senior season (1999-2000), signed his letter of intent
Wednesday night to complete his college football career with the Tigers. He
was to fax the letter to Clemson early today.
He has two years of eligibility remaining, and said he will begin taking
classes at Clemson on Jan. 14
Morris spent the last two seasons playing outside linebacker at Southwest
Mississippi Community College, where he lined up along side former Lower
Richland High standout Brandon Jamison.
Jamison also signed with Clemson Wednesday, and faxed his letter to the CU
administrative offices the same afternoon.
Morris held a small signing ceremony at the home of his high school coach,
Bill Tate, Wednesday evening. Speaking after the signing, Morris said he
remained solid with Clemson despite pressure from other schools.
"South Carolina came hard to try and change his mind," Morris said. "Some
Mississippi schools tried to get me, too, but it was easy to stay with
Clemson. I knew were I was going."
Getting there proved to be the difficult part.
Academically unable to qualify after committing to Clemson in 1999, Morris
was forced to go the junior college route. Perhaps it was a blessing in
disguise, for not only has Morris matured physically - his 220-pound frame is
30 pounds heavier than his high school playing weight - he also has made
dramatic strides in the classroom.
And while the academic improvement is a great source of pride for Morris,
it's a bittersweet accomplishment.
"This is what I could have been doing instead of messing around in high
school," he said. "All I could think about then was playing football or
Morris expects to step in and immediately challenge for a starting linebacker
spot when spring practice rolls around. At 6-foot-3 and with a 4.4 40-yard
dash time under his belt, Morris has the potential to be the type of
defensive playmaker Clemson desperately needs.
"I bring quickness, speed and an ability to get to the ball," Morris said of
his abilities. "I feel like I can make the big plays. We had a great
defensive coach (Charles Anthony) in junior college, and he taught me how
important it is to always keep my motor running."
Morris was named the defensive player of the year in his region after
recording 65 tackles (20 for loss), 10 sacks and 4 interceptions.
Where Morris is speed, Jamison is power.
The Hopkins native joined Morris at Southwest Mississippi after a standout
career at Lower Richland, which saw him earn All-State honors in 1999. Some
scouting services had Jamison ranked as the state's top linebacker that
season, and one newspaper ranked him the sixth best overall player in South
In 2001, Jamison had 31 tackles and 2 sacks when he suffered a broken collarbone. Last year in a full
season he recorded 101 tackles with 6 tackles for loss.
"Sky is the limit," said Jamison's former high school coach David Moore. "This kid could play in the NFL now.
No telling what’s going to happen once he gets to Clemson."
Jamison wasn't home Wednesday evening and did not return phone messages left
at his residence.
Reported 2002 Football Commitments
1 LB Cory Groover 6-3 235 Hannah-Pamplico HS
2 LB Brandon Jamison 6-2 220 SW Miss JUCO (Signed)
3 LB Kelvin Morris 6-3 225 SW Miss JUCO (Signed)
4 DL Randy Jackson 6-4 275 GA Military JUCO
5 QB Will Proctor 6-3 190 Winter Park, FL
6 LB Anthony Walters 6-3 205 Lake View, SC
7 DE Irvin Brisker 6-7 240 Conyers, GA
8 ATH Gerald McCloud 6-3 185 Jacksonville, FL
9 WR Tymere Zimmerman 6-4 208 Fork Union Prep
10 OL Roman Fry 6-4 255 Ironton, OH
11 OL Timothy Debeer 6-6 260 Atlanta, GA
12 P/PK Cole Chason 6-0 165 Roswell, GA