Being a college athlete and stuck on the bench behind a star can’t be easy. As the New York Daily News recently detailed, former Ole Miss quarterback David Morris made the best of it. Morris was a backup to Eli Manning for three years at Ole Miss, and continues to have Manning’s back. Morris works with the New York Giants quarterback during the offseason, videotaping his throws and helping dissect mistakes.
“I’m happy for David that he’s doing something he truly loves,” Manning says. “I’ve had him train me, and I give him some drill work that we do. I like that he films it; I can watch it on my own. He’s a guy who watched me throw the last 14 years. With David I can call out an old college play, and he knows the read, progressions. He’s someone I’m comfortable with.”
What started off as a competition for the same spot, turned into a lifelong bond between Manning and Morris. However, being a career backup at Ole Miss took its toll on Morris. He gave up football shortly after graduating because he was “burnt out from being one snap away for three seasons behind the immovable Manning.” Morris battled depression, but eventually found his calling and is now a fixture in Alabama’s quarterback boom. Morris was the trainer for Alabama quarterback and Heisman trophy candidate A.J. McCarron.
“Morris acknowledges Manning’s readiness to needle him, but the old backup developed thick skin over the years. His understated nature and relatively compact size — 6-feet, 180 pounds — caused McCarron’s father, Tony, to question whether he had found the right tutor for his son when he first met Morris nine years ago.”
His small stature was nothing compared to the knowledge Morris gained from years watching Manning. As a frequent contributor to the Manning Passing Academy, Morris is able to help high school quarterbacks reach the college level.
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