Either way, Navy’s starting quarterback this season was going to be someone who had never started a collegiate game.
But up until last week, it looked like the Mids’ 2020 signal-caller was going to be promising sophomore Perry Olsen.
Things have changed, apparently, as offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper said during a press conference via Zoom on Monday that senior Dalen Morris has surged to the top of the depth chart. Morris was previously the third string quarterback.
“Dalen has been very, very patient. He’s handled things very, very well,” Jasper said, according to the Capital Gazette. “Last season, with (Malcolm Perry) beating him out, Dalen never once complained. He just went to work and focused on what his issues were… His footwork has been superb, he’s taking care of the football and not making any bad decisions in the passing game.”
Jasper said that Olsen did not “separate himself from the pack” despite entering camp as the presumed starter. Fellow sophomore Masai Maynor also remains in the mix on the quarterback depth chart at the No. 3 spot.
Chance Warren, however, is being moved to slotback. A junior entering this year, Warren was mostly a wide receiver last season, but recorded a few rushes and was explosive whenever he touched the ball. Navy’s coaches wanted to experiment with him a bit under-center, but have opted to move him to the slot where his playmaking talents might be more useful.
And, according to Bill Wagner at the Capital, the Mids have dealt with some depth issues at slotback early on in camp. CJ Williams, an eight-game starter last season, is injured. Additionally, Keoni-Kordell Makekau – who has racked up 603 offensive yards as a Midshipman – is sitting out this football season. Tyreek King-El also left the team.
While things get worked out at slot, it seems like the dust is settling at QB with just under three weeks until Navy’s season-opener vs. BYU. Morris, a 6-foot-1 native of Huntsville, Alabama, will likely be taking the snaps when the Cougars visit Annapolis.
And although Morris is a senior, he hasn’t taken too many meaningful snaps in college, playing only sparingly. As a sophomore and junior, he saw action in a total of four games, rushing five times for 20 yards. He has never thrown a pass in a collegiate game.
As a high schooler, Morris was seen as a pro-style prospect and took recruiting visits to Alabama and UAB. He also had an offer from Alabama A&M. In one game for Buckhorn High School as a sophomore, he scored five touchdowns. As a senior at Madison County High School, he threw for 27 touchdowns and nearly 2,000 yards while rushing for 512 yards and five scores.