Senior Stephon Morris will be counted on to provide leadership and consistently productive play for the secondary, which is replacing four senior starters from last season. An aggressive and hard-hitting cornerback, Morris is the most experienced returnee among the defensive backs with 13 career starts. The talented athlete finished spring drills atop the depth chart at left cornerback. The coaching staff singled out Morris at the end of spring drills with his selection as the Jim O'Hora Award winner, presented to the most improved defensive player. The quick and instinctive player doesn't shy away from contact and has a knack for finding the ball. He played in 12 games last year, recording 19 tackles. Morris also had five pass breakups, the highest total among 2012 returnees. He is on schedule to graduate in May. Penn State guard Bryan Davie and Morris were Eleanor Roosevelt High School teammates and are among the 10 returnees from Maryland.
2011 Junior Season
Morris played in 12 games, making two starts, and recorded 19 tackles (12 solo), with one tackle for loss. He also had five pass breakups, the fifth-highest total for the Nittany Lions' top 10 defense. In a start against Eastern Michigan, he collected a season-high five stops (four solo), including one for a loss. Morris started the following week at Indiana and delivered a career-high four pass breakups in the Big Ten opener. He missed the Iowa game with a slight injury. In the Leaders Division matchup against Purdue, Morris collected two solo tackles and a pass breakup. He made two tackles in the big division battle at Ohio State and collected one solo tackle each against Nebraska and Wisconsin. Morris tied his season-high with a five-tackle performance against Houston in the TicketCity Bowl. He saw action on 381 snaps, with highs of 67 against Houston and 52 in the Nebraska game.
2010 Sophomore Season
Morris started 10 games, including the first seven and the 2011 Outback Bowl with Florida. Playing in every contest, he recorded 39 tackles (28 solo) to rank ninth on the squad, with 0.5 tackles for loss. His 28 solo stops were No. 7 on the squad. He made two tackles and had a pass breakup in the season-opener with Youngstown State. Morris recorded a team- and career-high nine tackles against Kent State. He posted five-tackle games against Iowa and Minnesota and made three tackles each against Ohio State and Indiana. Morris made two solo stops against the Gators in Tampa. He played on 784 snaps, led by 93 at Minnesota and 91 against Florida.
2009 Freshman Season
Morris saw action in all 13 games and logged the most plays among the eight true freshmen who earned playing time. He made 30 tackles (24 solo), grabbed an interception and broke up two passes. He also delivered one hit for a loss at Michigan State, where he made his first career start. With A.J. Wallace injured and out of the lineup, Morris made the most of his first career start in the battle for the Land Grant Trophy. The aggressive defender tied his season-high with five tackles (four solo) and played a significant role in limiting the Spartans to just 14 points, 17 below their average. In the Capital One Bowl against LSU, he tied his season-high by recording five solo tackles in the big 19-17 win. Morris also posted a season-high five stops against Ohio State. He made three solo stops in the 34-13 win at Northwestern and three hits in the Senior Day victory over Indiana. Morris saw his playing time increase in the second half of the season as he became more comfortable, making 23 stops in the final six games. He pulled down his first career interception at Illinois on a Juice Williams' pass, returning it 70 yards on the final play of the first half. In addition to playing a significant role in the secondary, Morris established himself as an impact player on special teams. He was on the field for 505 snaps, the highest total among the 2009 true freshmen, led by 77 in the win at Northwestern and 70 against Indiana.
An exceptional cornerback, running back and kick returner for Coach Tom Green at Eleanor Roosevelt HS, Morris earned first-team all-county and all-league honors. He also was an honorable-mention all-state pick. Morris recorded 46 tackles, 16 of which were for losses, during his senior season. He forced four fumbles, grabbed three interceptions and scored six touchdowns. Morris was a three-year captain of the football team and also ran track.
Full name is Stephon Antoine Morris. He is the son of Roman Morris and Cynthia Spriggs. A cousin, Travon Bellamy, was a defensive back at Illinois. In his spare time, Morris likes to work out, play video games and cook. He is a telecommunications major and is interested in becoming a chef, a sports announcer or business owner. Born January 12, 1991 in Washington, D.C.