FAYETTEVILLE – Of the three places he’s called home, Tyson Morris for now deems his last the best.
Morris mostly grew up in Helena which he treasures. He moved to Fayetteville where his mother, Synetra Morris, is an assistant principal. Tyson is a proud Fayetteville High and state football champion graduate. He continues in Fayetteville but in a different environment. As a Razorback the fifth-year senior receiver follows the athletic though different sport footsteps of his father.
Former Arkansas basketball forward Isaiah “Butch” Morris started for Coach Nolan Richardson’s 1991 Southwest Conference champion and 1992 SEC champion Razorbacks. Tyson loves all where he’s lived but said through these COVID-19 coronavirus time the Razorbacks structure suits best.
“I do agree with the coaches we’re safer being up here with the coaching staff and everybody else,” Morris said just one day before the Big Ten and Pac 12 announced they would not play 2020 football while the SEC with Arkansas presses on. “Because there’s no telling what 196 people will do with that much free time being home. I definitely feel it’s much safer being here.”
He did get a couple of visits to Helena where he still has many friends and his beloved grandmother.“It kind of sucks that I went down there to see my grandmother a couple of times and don’t really get to see her,” Tyson said. “Even though I’m clear (of COVID-19), it’s still a risk. “I don’t want to put her in a bad situation. So I have to talk to her from a distance outside her door.”
He could proudly shout starting his masters with his UA degree in sports management accomplished.
“I graduated during the summer,” Tyson said, a must to his educator mother.“She pushed me to do it,” Tyson said.
Now he pushes into a football season still dicey it will be played.
“It’s definitely been hard times, working for something that you are not sure is going to be certain,” Morris said. “But they’ve been doing a good job taking care of us, making sure we’re staying safe and happy.”
New coach Sam Pittman has helped, Morris said. “Coach Pittman has definitely done a great job of keeping everyone sane with positive attitudes, Morris said.”
Some of the coronavirus era negativity becomes a plus, Morris said. “We’ve created a bond that I haven’t seen the past couple of years,” Morris said. “We’re hanging out with each other because we can’t do too much because of the pandemic. I feel we’ve created a bond so strong that we’re going to shock the world.
Pittman becomes Tyson’s fourth college head coach. Tyson was a 2016 freshman at the University of Central Oklahoma, redshirted under Bret Bielema as a 2017 Arkansas walk-on transfer then under Chad Morris earned a scholarship lettering the last two years.
Tyson played all three wide receiver positions plus special teams during his 181 snaps with 4 catches for 30 yards and a touchdown in 2018 . He logged 351 snaps last year with 13 catches for 158 yards and a touchdown.
Chad Morris last year called Tyson “definitely an asset.”
Pittman already dittos.
“I can tell you Tyson has looked good and done a nice job in the walkthroughs and special teams,” Pittman said. “He’s got speed and he’s big (6-2, 202). We think he’s gonna help us at wide receiver.”
Truly a wide receiver in new offensive coordinator Kendall Briles’ offense after last season playing mostly slot. Receivers coach Justin Stepp, the lone Chad Morris staff holdover on Pittman’s staff, knows Tyson will adapt.
“In Coach Briles’ offensive system we felt like he was a better fit for us as an outside wideout,” Stepp said.
Morris opens in the same wideout spot as Trey Knox.
Sophomore sensations Treylon Burks and Knox and junior Mike Woods headline the deepest corps off a 2-10 team, but Tyson will carve a key role, Stepp said. “We’re looking for him to play a significant number of snaps,” Stepp said. “He proved he can play in this league.”
Tyson asserts he will again.
“I definitely have gotten better each year,” Morris said. “I definitely feel like I’m going to shock a lot of people. I’m faster and stronger than ever. I feel better and look better than I ever have.”
Even if Morris didn’t have his physical ability he would still contribute, Stepp said.
“He’s a leader in our group that’s for sure,” Stepp said. “He carries a lot of weight with our team’s mentality. He knows when to be funny and when it’s time to work and be serious. I absolutely love coaching him. He’s a joy to be around.”