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When David Morris left the Reser Stadium field on Saturday after Oregon State's loss to Minnesota, he wasn't aware that he had finished the game with 17 total tackles.

Someone let Morris, a true freshman safety, know of the stat after the game.

"I was like, 'whoa.' I had no idea, but it was awesome to hear," Morris said.

"But at the same time it wasn't a good feeling to lose. So the 17 tackles was great and all, but I'm putting it in the past and we're focusing in on Washington State."

Morris had played some in the first two games, but didn't expect to get the time on the field he had against the Gophers.

He did know the coaches planned to play him at some point, so he made sure he was ready to go.

"They looked me in the face and said, 'It's your time,'" Morris said. "And so it was motivation for me and I got out and I just played my part."

Despite the big defensive stats, Morris realizes that he has a lot of work ahead of him in order to become a top-tier safety.

OSU safeties coach John Rushing said Morris is getting caught up with the coverages and the speed of the game and is now playing with more confidence.

"There's a couple of minor adjustments and alignment things that he needs to pay attention to and he still makes true freshman mistakes that if they don't get corrected, there's other teams and other guys that will see those weaknesses in his game," Rushing said. "So we will continue to hammer on the things he's not good at and continue to get him more and more caught up to the college game and speed each week."

Morris said he needs to stay more disciplined during a play and not get distracted from his assignment.

"I try and do a little extra and then it kind of gets me out of position, so I've just got to stay aligned and do my job," he said.

Morris played running back and linebacker for Sherwood High and was a four-star recruit, according to Scout.

He grew up as an Oregon fan and was a fan of running backs LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and Thomas Tyner, who is now his teammate at OSU.

Morris switched loyalty as soon as the Beavers offered him a scholarship. He convinced his family to get rid of their Oregon gear and buy OSU items.

"It's been awesome," Morris said. "It's always been a dream of mine to go DI and Oregon State. They were the first ones to believe in me and offer me, and so to come in here and make an impact and also be a hometown guy is cool for me and cool for my family, too."

Morris was determined to make an impression as soon as he put on pads for the Beavers.

In fall camp he was able to make the progression from special teams to the regular defense.

The speed of the game was the biggest adjustment early on for Morris. Practice was one thing, but his first play at Colorado State was an eye-opener.

"First play, I was like, 'Whoa, that was really fast,' " he said.

"It was just a run play and it went to the other side and I was like, 'Whoa, I've got to go.' And I took off."

Morris and the OSU defensive backfield will get a strong test from Washington State on Saturday.

He wants to show that the Beavers can lock down the Cougars' Air Raid offense.

"Their whole passing game is diverse and so we just have to adjust and get our coverages and go from there," he said.


Sports Reporter

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