Shane Morris leaves impression at IMG


BRADENTON, Fla. -- Shane Morris is in the middle of an incredibly busy summer. As soon as he leaves this weekend's IMG Madden Football 7-on-7 national championship tournament, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior will head to Beaverton, Ore., for The Opening. Then it's off to Redondo Beach, Calif., for the Elite 11 national showcase -- and finally back to Florida to the Gridiron Kings at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.

"It doesn't leave a lot of time off, but to be honest I wouldn't have it any other way," Morris said. "I look at it like it's an honor that everyone wants me to participate in their events."

However, not all of Morris' generosity is appreciated. And in college football the rivalries run much deeper than the field of play. Former Michigan State wide receiver Keith Nichol is a friend of Morris and yesterday the quarterback tried to encourage his 13,000-plus followers on Twitter to vote for Nichol's play in the ESPY Awards in a nice gesture.

Unfortunately Michigan fans weren't as eager to help Nichol's vote count and they let the quarterback know it.

"I had some of the Michigan fans really angry about that," Morris said. "A couple of them were cursing at me and a few others said that, 'We don't root for Michigan State to win at anything ever.' "

"That's pretty harsh but I appreciate the fans and the way they support the school until the end."

But Morris wants to remind Michigan fans that he is friends with several players that will probably face him during his career. And some of those players will attend rival schools, even Ohio State.

"Going around to all these national camps you are going to meet a lot of cool guys and not all them will go to Michigan," Morris said. "I like a lot of the guys going to Ohio State that I've met. Guys like Cameron Burrows (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) and Jalin Marshall (Middletown, Ohio/Middletown) are real cool guys.

"Now I'm not going to be a fan of them when they are on the field and I hope the Buckeyes lose every game, but they are cool guys."

Morris will have some work to do Sunday if his team, Max Exposure Blue, is to repeat as champions of the IMG Madden 7-on-7 event. In Saturday's pool play, the team finished 1-3 and struggled to find a rhythm on offense until the late games.

"We're getting everyone's best shot because we are the champions," Morris said. "You have to expect that much like I know I'm going to be getting everyone's best shot this year at De La Salle. Everyone wants to beat the guys sitting at the top."