Lott IMPACT Trophy | Honoring College Football's Defensive Best



Lott IMPACT Trophy Finalist Profile: James Morris – Sr. Linebacker, Iowa


James Morris Finalist Badge

Iowa LB– Senior – 6’ 2” – 230lbs – Solon, IA

James Morris is the quintessential Big Ten linebacker. Works on a farm as a kid, builds muscles while hauling hay, loves Mom and apple pie, tackles everything in sight on Saturday afternoons.

Well, maybe.

Iowa’s James Morris certainly makes all the tackles and no doubt loves Mom and apple pie, but this linebacker is no farm boy. He’s a respected, intelligent and thoughtful senior. And so much more.

”If you want to create the ideal student-athlete for a college football team, it would be James Morris,” says Iowa Linebacker Coach LeVar Woods.

Morris has captained the Hawkeyes in both his junior and senior seasons and has led by example on the field where he leads the team in tackles for loss, sacks and interceptions and is second in total tackles. He has nearly 400 career tackles at Iowa, among the Top 10 in school history. Twice he’s been named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and once he was named the Lott IMPACT® Player of the Week.

Morris has maintained a 3.84 grade point average and been an All-Big Ten All-Academic selection and first team academic All-American. He’s been on the dean’s list at Iowa five times and is a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete candidate. In high school, Morris was a 3.95 student and a member of the National Honor Society.

Says Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz: “The guy works extremely hard on the practice field. He’s unbelievable in terms of his preparation away from the field, away from the building. He’s a great leader, just a great role model to be on the football team. Scary smart student on top of it. Yet he’s a normal guy. I think that’s why he’s able to be a leader. He’s fought some injuries behind the scenes,” Ferentz said. “He works extremely hard on the practice field. He’s unbelievable, in terms of his preparation away from the field…and he’s a great leader. He’s a great role model for any football team.”

Morris was been awarded the Hayden Fry “Extra Heartbeat” Award as a junior and most recently was named a finalist for the Wuerffel Trophy, which goes to the college football player who best exemplifies community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.

“Even to be associated with the Lott IMPACT® Trophy and Ronnie Lott is an honor,” says Morris. “It’s awesome and I’m humbled.”

Morris also has a wry sense of humor: “I don’t really pay a whole lot of attention to who is favored and who is not. I can tell you most games we’re probably not. And in the game we are, it’s certainly no relief to me.”