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July 23, 2012

Sun Devils lead big for JUCO receiver

Arizona State is making a big push at Woodland Hills (Calif.) Pierce College, with receiver Joe Morris becoming the fifth player at the school to receive an offer from the Sun Devils on Saturday while on a visit to the Tempe campus along with numerous teammates.

Morris, 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, was a backup last season as Pierce had the American Pacific Conference's top scoring offense with three sophomores among the league's Top-10 in receiving yards. The Sun Devils apparently held no reservations despite the limited film and became the first school to offer, Morris said, and as a result, is his overwhelming leader.

The Sun Devils are also actively pursuing tight end Beau Sandland, defensive tackle Marquel Combs (Mississippi commit), receiver Jaelen Strong and linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore.

"They really came on strong during this visit and made it clear they really would like to have me in their program," Morris said. "When I was there we talked about schemes and everything and I feel like they really want me and ASU is No. 1 in my mind. I definitely enjoyed the trip and I can see big things happening at that school and already happening and I'd like to be a part of that.

"My plan now is to speak to my mom and family and then after that make a decision as soon as possible. I'm not trying to play around, I would like to make my decision as soon as possible. More than likely I'll have a decision by this week. Arizona State is the big school I wanted to step up and now that they've done it I'm looking like I'll probably go there."

Despite making a quick overnight turn-around trip -- it's a six hour drive from Pierce to ASU --Morris said he was able to get a good feel for the program and especially enjoyed visiting with the coaching staff.

"It was a humbling experience, especially getting to talk to coach Graham and seeing what type of head coach he is," Morris said. "Most of the other assistants, you can see how they are the way they are after talking to coach Graham because of his personality. Talking to coach Graham was definitely my favorite part of being there. He's direct which is great because you don't want anyone beating around the bush."

A West Palm Beach, Fla., native, Morris went to American Herritage High School in Boca-Delray, and took a year off after graduating before heading West. Bowling Green, Fresno State, Hawaii, and Kent State have shown serious interest, he said, but all have a lot of catching up to do.

"It opened up a lot of opportunities for me and I didn't have any problem going away and Arizona State would be a good place too because I like it out here," Morris said. "I loved the whole experience, seeing everything there and getting to meet all the coaches. They are really genuine coaches who are looking out for my best interest."

Pierce is re-loading, Morris said, and should be poised for another impressive season so long as it gets its ball distributor in place.

"Our talent is revamped, we have a lot of guys stepping up coming in and if we get our quarterback under control, I think we can have a great season and I plan on having an even bigger year this year coming up," he said.


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