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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: TJ Morrison, DB, Stony Brook

TJ Morrison is a savvy veteran in Stony Brook’s secondary moving from corner to safety for the 2020/2021 season. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: TJ Morrison
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 190 lbs.
  • Position: DB
  • College: Stony Brook University
  • Twitter: @iamsavagesix
  • Instagram: iamsavagesix

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I took full advantage of my time in college and made the most of everything. I majored in Business Management and had minors in African Studies and Technological Systems Management. I was very involved with the Black Student Athlete Huddle which we used to bridge the gap for racial awareness and inequality. I received the Harry Edwards Award from the NAACP for being an outstanding student athlete who focused on activism.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My leadership. Most people say that I’m a natural born leader. I know how to bring the most out of people. I’m one of the team captains, and guys trust me. I’m like the glue that keeps the team together. I’m the voice of the team and the heart of the defense.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I was the starter at field corner for 3 years until I switched to safety this past season. I’m a versatile player that can learn fast and adapt to any situation. I took full advantage of our time off from playing due to the pandemic in order to learn a new position. I also became the QB of the defense. I was one of the more experienced players on the field, and I helped lead the guys around me.

With regards to scheme, I’m comfortable playing almost anything from press, off, slot, and deep 3rd. I have the ability to tackle and have position flexibility. I’m mostly projected as a slot corner in the pros. I’ll also gladly play special teams. I’ve played on many different units for the last 4 years. I have also seen a bit of action as a return specialist.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
I played against Utah State QB Jordan Love my sophomore season. His accuracy was ridiculous. He gives his receivers opportunities to make plays on the ball. The pace of that game was one of the fastest that I ever played in my career.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Tyquell Fields is our QB. It’s been great seeing his progression over the years. Gavin Heslop was the DB that really helped me become the player that I am. He set the model for being a great leader and hard worker. Gavin is currently playing for the Seattle Seahawks. Sam Kamara is the leader of our defensive line. He really makes a difference in how things come together on the back end because he uses his relentless motor to get pressure on the QB.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
After the 2019 season, I needed to get surgery. I had played most of that season with a sports hernia. I remember having the surgery just a few days before Christmas. The surgery was a success, and everything was going okay. Yet, what made it all tough was that COVID-19 hit the world.

I was making improvements, then the school shut down and I was transferred to a different rehab facility. Things kept getting worse when the whole state shut down and I had to quarantine at home. I was doing my own workouts and running around at home when I sustained another injury. I strained my hip flexor for trying to do so much.

I hit a huge setback because I wasn’t getting the proper treatment. I suppose it was a blessing that our season got cancelled because I probably would not have played every game if at all. It was a long process getting better, and I had to be patient with my rehab. All of that was very challenging, but I overcame it, and now I’m 100% healthy.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Track & Field. I was a sprinter in high school, and our relay team ended up going to nationals. Some of my best times include a 10.9-100m and a 22.8-200m.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Recently, I had a gender reveal telling my friends and family that I will be a father to a daughter. That’s been my proudest moment so far. I’m also happy that I was able to graduate in December. One of my greatest accomplishments as a football player was being named a team captain. Knowing that everyone trusted me and voted me as captain means a lot.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
2018 was my first season starting at field corner. We were going to play against New Hampshire, and I remember watching tape with Gavin Heslop. We studied the offensive formations and tendencies. During the game, there was a play where they had two receivers on the field side, and I knew that if they ran a hitch route that I was going to make a play. Sure enough, they ran that hitch, I made a break on the ball, snatched it and took it to the house. That was confirmation early on in my career that I had to take film study seriously if I was going to succeed.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite team is the Seattle Seahawks. I’ve just always liked their defenses. Coincidentally, it was great that Gavin Heslop ended up getting to play there.

I model my game as a mix between Tyrann Mathieu and Jamal Adams. Mathieu displays an excellent motor, and his focus and preparation are next to none. Adams is a savvy player with great play recognition.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Some of my favorite music artists include guys like Lil Durk, NBA YoungBoy and Lil Baby.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My Mom’s family is Puerto Rican and my Dad is Jamaican. Every time I go home, I have to have my Dad’s fried chicken and fried plantains.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
Breaking Bad is my favorite TV show. Will Smith is one of my favorite actors. There’s a movie on the Disney Channel called “Safety” that I really liked.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
Whenever I have the time, I like to play Call of Duty. I also started my own clothing brand called “Six-letter-clothing”.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I’m a very family-oriented guy, and they motivate me the most. My family never had that much growing up, my mom has been battling an illness. I stay optimistic because I want to make something good come out of this situation. I want to inspire my family and others, and also give my daughter the best life possible.


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