James Morris Finds Success From a Solid Base
By Mike Hlas, Reporter and Scott Saville, Sports Director
TAMPA, Fla. James Morris and his younger brother, Jake, stayed in a big hotel, saw the Gulf of Mexico, and attended Iowa's first Outback Bowl as members of the team's traveling party 10 years ago.
It was new, great stuff for the boys, whose worlds had already dramatically changed for the better in the year leading up to that trip. In May 2003, their mother married Greg Morris, the head equipment manager for Hawkeyes football. Lynn Morris had been a divorced mother raising the two boys on her own.
She was introduced to Greg the year before. Their relationship quickly grew, as did his with her two sons. Lynn and the boys attended their first Hawkeyes game in Kinnick Stadium in 2002. The next year, it was holiday sun, fun and football in Tampa Bay.
Ten years later, things have come back around in the sweetest of ways. James is a young man finishing a wonderful senior season and career as a Hawkeye linebacker, decorated with football and academic honors galore. Jake, a tight end, is excited about launching a football career at Coe College next fall after having played for one season at Iowa Central Community College and then transferring to Northern Iowa for school only.
Both are again in Tampa for another Outback Bowl after sharing another happy Christmas with their parents here. James is preparing for the game with his Hawkeye teammates. Jake is vacationing, but has lifted weights at Iowa's practice facility here.
"As I was driving over the bridge here," Lynn said, "it flooded me with memories of our first bowl trip with the football program. The second time we came down here (two years later), the boys and I spent two days going to the beach in a convertible."
"It's an incredible full circle," said Greg while on a break from his duties after the Hawkeyes got done practicing here Saturday. "That first trip here back then, the smiles on those two kids' faces, it was like they were at Disneyland. And it was just a nice hotel."
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