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September 23, 2013

UCLA offensive lineman to transfer

From the start, incoming freshman offensive lineman Christian Morris just didn't feel right. Thousands of miles from home, his family and his grandmother, things just weren't going the way Morris had planned at UCLA.

"I had this homesick and unhappy feeling," Morris said. "And it lasted all the way until now."

So this weekend, Morris decided to transfer from Westwood, and head back toward his Tennessee home.

"I respect everything, everything that UCLA does, man," Morris said. "The coaching staff, man, they care about you as a person and not just a player … Coach (Jim) Mora really cared about me as a person. The players there, I respect just everything about UCLA. UCLA, man, it's just a great place and they're on the rise of doing something great."

But things just weren't right with Morris in Los Angeles. His grandmother has been in and out of the hospital battling an illness, and the feeling of being so far away from her and so unhappy wore on him.

"I almost gave her a stroke when I told her when all this started happening," Morris said. "That took a huge toll on me. I hate that I made the decision (to transfer) so late in the game."

Morris said he's now likely heading to Ole Miss, a school that was in his final two when he initially picked UCLA seven months ago.

"I've been talking to the compliance of Ole Miss; that's probably where I'm going to go," Morris said. "They were very close to home so I can get to my grandmother and family more."

Morris will apply for a hardship waiver in order to get this season of eligibility back, and said he's very grateful for the opportunity he's had at UCLA this past summer.

"I just thank the coaching staff," Morris said. "And both coaching staffs if Ole Miss gives me a scholarship offer for giving me a second chance. I just thank coach Mora and them for just helping me out. I don't know what would have happened if they didn't help me out. I respect them for everything."



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