In many ways, you can call it a perfect 10.
That's how many football players who suited up for the Morris Redskins this past fall have been extended invitations to play on the gridiron at the collegiate level.
Back on signing day, Danny Friend committed in ink to Indiana University and Jeff Perry to Central Michigan University at the Division I level and Anthonee Monson at Division II Bemidji State University in Minnesota. However, since then the list has grown for now former Redskins who will continue to put a helmet on at various levels.
Six more players have committed to play at the Division III level and another — Drew Aldrich— at the NAIA level for St. Ambrose University in Iowa.
Not bad for a team that was runner-up in the Class 5A State finals this past fall.
“It is great to see so many kids wanting to go on and play at the next level. I think it says a lot about the state of our program to have this many players go and play college football," Morris coach Alan Thorson said. "I am very proud of this group, they all had a great four years as Redskins and I am sure that they will all be successful at the next level and make Morris High School and our community proud.”
Former Redskins quarterback Zach Cinnamon is going to the University of Wisconsin - Stout; lineman Craig Claire to Washington University in St. Louis; cornerback Jake Hogan to Aurora University; monster back Mike McNelis to Illinois Wesleyan University; cornerback Brad Rickard to the University of Dubuque in Iowa and running back Reese Sobol, also to Illinois Wesleyan University.
The following is a brief bio on each of the former Redskins. All of them said that their favorite thing about playing last fall was either "playing ball with their buddies", "protecting this town" or "showing their Redskins pride".
"Danny is one of those special athletes that only comes around so often," Thorson said. "He was a senior captain, and each week made huge plays that helped us get to the state title game. He has the ability and the work ethic to be very successful at Indiana.
Friend, on how he arrived at playing for the Hoosiers — "The support of my parents, family, coaches and friends."
Central Michgan University
"Jeff was a three-year varsity starter and senior captain. He is very athletic and strong," Thorson said. "After watching Jeff the past four years on the field and in the weight room, I am sure that he will be very successful at Central Michigan."
Perry, on how he arrived at playing for the Chippewas — "Talked to plenty of coaches and went to camps."
Bemidji State University
"Anthony has been a two-way varsity starter for us the past two years. He is a very physical wide receiver with great hands and is an excellent blocker. His is also a very good tackler. Bemidji State is getting a very good athlete."
Monson, on how he arrived at playing for the Beavers — "They came and visited me and it was just the right fit."
University of Wisconsin-Stout
"Zach has been such a great story this year and I could not be happier for him and his family," Thorson said. "He is very athletic and will be a good offensive weapon at Wisconsin-Stout."
Cinnamon, how he arrived at playing for the Blue Devils — "By working hard and putting in the hours year-round".
Washington University (St. Louis)
"Craig was a three-year varsity starter and a senior captain for us," Thorson said. "He is a leader on and off the field and I am very confident that he will be successful at the next level, both on the field and in the classroom."
Claire, on how he arrived at playing for the Bears — "I went to few camps and explored my options and Washington U. just felt right".
"Jake is one of the best defensive backs that I have ever coached," Thorson said. "Each week we would put him on the opponent's best receiver and he would completely take him out of the game. He is also a very good kick and punt returner and I can see him being very successful at that in college."
Hogan, on how he arrived at playing for the Spartans — "The coaches contacted me. First the head coach and then the defensive coordinator."
Illinois Wesleyan University
"Mike is a very smart and a verst physical defensive back," Thorson said. "He led our team in interceptions and has a great understanding of the game. He is also very vocal on the field and plays the game with passion."
McNelis, on how he arrived at playing for the Titans — "I believe IWU is a good fit for me for both academics and athletics. Now I have to work hard and find my place on the team."
University of Dubuque
"Brad was another great story from this season," Thorson said. "He worked extremely hard in the offseason and earned a starting spot on our defense. It seemed like each week Brad was making a big play and making a game-saving tackle."
Rickard, on how he arrived at playing for the Spartans — "The coached contacted me, I went to visit and it felt like the right fit for me."
Illinois Wesleyan University
"Reese had a great senior year running the ball for us," Thorson said. "He had over 1,500 rushing yards and set the school record for rushing yards in a playoff game. He has great field vision and speed, as well. Wesleyan is getting a very good running back."
Sobol, on how he arrived at playing for the Titans — "I sent in my highlight tape to many coaches and visited schools and I ended up choosing Wesleyan."
St. Ambrose University
"Drew is a hard worker who started 14 games for us on the offensive line," Thorson said. "He got better each week and had a huge block in overtime in the Washington game. With continued work in the weight room, I believe Drew will have a good career at St. Ambrose."
Aldrich, on how he arrived at playing for the Fighting Bees — "The coaches came to Morris, I was able to visit and then with the help of friends and family, I made the decision."