Thirteen months ago, doctors told Ole Miss offensive lineman Christian Morris that he would never play football again. On Monday, he announced that he’ll be returning to the sport he loves... this time at Grambling State.
During an extra point attempt in the Rebels’ win over Texas A&M in 2015, Morris, who’d bee previously been diagnosed with a narrowing of the spinal canal known as spinal stenosis, had his neck stepped on. He fainted as he jogged back to the sideline and was carted off the field and taken to the hospital.
“I done cried till I can’t no more, I done asked why, I done prayed,” Morris said after multiple doctors advised him to walk away from the game. “At the end of the day, life goes on... I just hate I didn’t finish eligibility nor did I get a chance at a NFL team to play.”
Morris stayed with the team during the Sugar Bowl, watching practices and offering advice.
"A couple months passed. I finally got it in my head that I'm done playing football," Morris told The News-Star. "Then again, I had a little thing in the back of my head telling me try one more doctor. I came across Dr. James Andrews and the rest is history."
Following the 2015 season, Morris began to explore options for transferring in an effort to play again. He spoke with a host of Division I programs including Memphis, Indiana, UCLA, Houston, and Texas Tech, all of whom ultimately decided against accepting Morris due to perceived liability related to his injury. Yet, Morris himself insists that he has been medically cleared, stating: “All of the things I've been told by these doctors that told me I can play again, I share the same risk that anyone else would share on the field.” This assurance, coupled with Morris’ impressive potential on the field at 6-6 and 315 pounds, clearly was enough for Grambling, and Morris ultimately opted to accept their offer.
He’ll transfer after graduating from Ole Miss in May.
Committed to Grambling ! #GramFam— Christian Morris (@CMo_7uno) December 19, 2016
Morris will become the second former Rebel on the Grambling roster, reuniting with quarterback Devante Kincade, who was recently named Southwestern Athletic Conference Player of the Year after leading Grambling to a 10-1 record and the league championship. As Morris explained to The News-Star, Kincade’s presence had a strong impact on his decision: “DeVante played a huge factor in my decision-making and as well as winning the SWAC championship. That really just blew my mind and made me want to come to Grambling.”
Even though Morris’ time as a Rebel was short-lived, we wish him a productive and, most importantly, injury-free career at Grambling State.