Morris joins list of returning seniors for 2021
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Arkansas will return its entire receiving corps in 2021.
After a photo of him working out was posted on the team’s Instagram account Wednesday, HawgBeat has confirmed wide receiver Tyson Morris will use his extra year of eligibility with the Razorbacks.
His decision means every player who caught a touchdown pass for Arkansas in 2020 will suit up again next season. The only player who caught a pass of any kind and won’t be back is running back Rakeem Boyd.
Shamar Nash, who never appeared in a game with the Razorbacks during his two years in Fayetteville and opted out of the past season, is the only wide receiver who won't be back in 2021, as he has transferred to Memphis.
Despite being listed as a backup and not starting a single game last season, Morris actually played the third-most snaps of any receiver, behind only Mike Woods and Treylon Burks. He wasn’t a major target, but did make seven receptions for 67 yards and one touchdown.
The son of former Arkansas basketball standout Isaiah Morris, he is an in-state product originally from Helena-West Helena who played his high school ball at Fayetteville High.
Morris signed with Central Oklahoma, a Division II school, and redshirted his lone season there in 2016 before transferring back home to be a walk-on for the Razorbacks.
Transfer rules required him to sit out the 2017 season, but he quickly emerged as a contributor the following year and earned a scholarship in 2019. Over the past three seasons, Morris has caught 24 passes for 252 yards and three scores - one each year.
All three of Morris’ touchdowns have come in losses, but none of them were in “garbage time.” In fact, they were each critical plays, pulling the Razorbacks within seven points in their losses to Vanderbilt (2018), San Jose State (2019) and Texas A&M (2020).
Despite being a fifth-year senior this season, Morris is able to play a sixth season of college football because of eligibility relief granted by the NCAA in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
He is the ninth Arkansas senior known to be taking advantage of that rule, joining linebacker Grant Morganand offensive linemen Myron Cunningham and Ty Clary, running back T.J. Hammonds, wide receiver De’Vion Warren, tight end Blake Kern, defensive end Dorian Gerald and linebacker Deon Edwards.
Of the other 10 scholarship seniors from the 2020 season, eight are moving on. Boyd and Jerry Jacobs opted out to prepare for the NFL Draft before the end of the season, while Jonathan Marshall, Feleipe Franks and Xavier Kelly waited until after the season to declare for the draft. Chibueze Nwanna, Jack Lindsey and Micahh Smith are in the portal.
The only two whose futures remain unclear are linebacker Hayden Henry and kicker A.J. Reed.
Seniors who decide to return to school will not count against the 85-man scholarship limit. That means those who chose to leave - whether to enter the NFL Draft or transfer portal - also don’t have any impact on Arkansas’ scholarship situation for next season.
Click here for HawgBeat’s latest projected scholarship distribution for 2021.