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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
OT Morris has strong in-state interest

By Dave Hooker

UCLA commitment Christian Morris feels wanted by Tennessee. That wasn't always the case.

"I will say this coaching staff, in my opinion, they're recruiting me much harder than the last coaching staff," the offensive tackle from Memphis (Tenn.) East said. "They really are making me a priority right now. It's a good relationship."

Former coach Derek Dooley was fired after three straight losing seasons and was replaced by former Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones.

Morris took his official visit to Tennessee on Jan. 11. He said meeting the players was the most impressive aspect of the trip.

"It was good,” the 6-foot-6, 293-pound lineman said. “I enjoyed myself…I've been there before so I'm kind of used to everything.”

Tennessee still has some work to do to pull Morris away from UCLA, where he committed in July. He said the Volunteers have yet to cause him to strongly question his commitment to the Bruins.

"Very high," he said when asked to describe his commitment level to UCLA.

Morris has long said he wanted to play football on the West Coast, but he also took official an official visit to Nebraska. Morris was scheduled to take an official visit to Washington last weekend but didn't take the trip.

The Volunteers will get another shot to impress Morris this weekend when he visits Knoxville on an unofficial visit. He'll be alongside his teammate, center Bobby Billingsley, who is also considering Tennessee more than he was before the Vols' coaching change.