People get mad about the weather, politics and other things, but now some have taken a laughable exception to Chad Morris seeing his son play high school football.
Arkansas defeating Eastern Illinois in the season opener had nothing to do with Morris seeing his son Chandler play football at Highland Park (Texas). Also, watching his son play last week had nothing to do with Arkansas losing to Colorado State.
Teams don’t wait until Friday night before a game to put stuff in for the opponent. That is why they practice all week except the one day the NCAA requires each school to give the players the day off (Monday at Arkansas).
Arkansas actually has a big advantage with Morris going out to see his son. The NCAA only allows a school 42 evaluation days during the season to watch prospects. In other words if 10 coaches are out in one day that leaves 32 days for that school for the entire season. Since Morris is a father he can go watch his son play and it doesn’t count against the 42 evaluation days.
Highland Park is currently ranked No. 2 in Class 5A in Texas in the statewide AP Poll. Not only have Arkansas, Clemson, Auburn, Oklahoma and Colorado offered Morris’ son, Highland Park and the teams they play have several prospects Morris can see each week.
That’s an advantage most schools don’t have. If Highland Park plays 16 games this season, it went 15-1 in 2017, that is 16 free evaluation days for Morris and the Hogs.
Highland Park doesn’t just have Morris, but 2020 four-star defensive end Prince Dorbah holds an offer to Arkansas and many big-time schools as well. Among the standouts for Frisco Lone Star who they play tonight are four-star 2020 wide receiver Marvin Mims who holds nearly 20 offers including one from the Hogs. Lone Star has several other prospects including 2019 running back Darren Smith who has rushed for 2,070 yards and 29 touchdowns in his career and caught 43 passes for 535 yards.
Highland Park plays schools virtually each week that are loaded with college prospects. Highland Park beat Rockwall 49-42 in the season opener with Morris in attendance. Arkansas has since offered Rockwall 2020 wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba. In the game against Highland Park, Smith-Njigba caught 12 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Justin Stepp will see him play against Arlington Bowie tonight as well.
This season, the younger Morris has completed 40 of 57 passes for 647 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed 19 times for 136 yards and four touchdowns. In 2017, Dorbah had 84 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, two pass breakups and one forced fumble as a sophomore starter on a state championship team. This season in two games, he has 14 tackles, five sacks and two quarterback hurries.
The 10 games on Highland Park’s regular season schedule are Rockwall, Mesquite Horn, Dallas Adams, Dallas Wilson, Mansfield Legacy, Dallas Samuell, Dallas Sunset, Lancaster and Mansfield Timberview. There’s a long list of prospects that Morris will see and that doesn’t even count the playoffs.
In addition to Morris and Stepp, Joe Craddock, Barry Lunney Jr. and Mark Smith will be in the Metroplex tonight. Steve Caldwell will see Putnam City (Okla.) defensive end Collin Clay play. Lunney will get a chance to see McKinney North 2020 tight end Brandon Frazier.
So any criticism Morris gets for seeing his son play is very unfair. It is actually a big advantage for the Razorbacks.