Wanya Morris Q&A: 2023 NFL Draft prospect on his R&B-inspired name, sleeping in his car as a child, his NFL Combine injury and idolising Joe Thomas

Oklahoma offensive lineman Wanya Morris

Oklahoma’s Wanya Morris could brandish a well-known identify, but enters the 2023 NFL Draft as one of many unsung prospects in his place. 

Morris spoke to Sky Sports activities concerning the story behind his identify, why fellow Draft prospect Will McDonald IV has been his hardest take a look at, rising up watching Joe Thomas, going through Dallas Cowboys begin Micah Parsons and his damage on the NFL Mix.

The highly effective offensive lineman credit soccer as his “escape from actuality” as he appears to reward the sacrifices of his mum having grown up staring adversity within the face.

You’ll have seen teammates prior to now undergo this course of, how are you discovering it now you are right here?

“It hasn’t hit me but actually, it did a bit bit on the Mix once I’m like ‘rattling I am on the Mix’, we dream about moments like this and I am simply sat trying up, taking every little thing in. That was in all probability essentially the most surreal second, however actually it is simply one other day one other greenback, we ain’t nowhere but.”

I am optimistic you’ll have been requested this many occasions in your life, however please clarify the background of the identify ‘Wanya?’

“Rather a lot truly! The story is my mum was deciding what to call me, they had been going forwards and backwards and my auntie was like ‘hey sis, let’s simply identify him Wanya as a result of his final identify is Morris, that might be type of cool with Boyz II Males’ (Wanya Morris is the identify of one in all Boyz II Males’s members) and that caught.

“Each time I went to high school I might inform them find out how to say it and it could be ‘so just like the Boyz II Males’ and I am like ‘yeahhhhhhh’. I’ve performed with quite a lot of guys, they are not into the RnB as a lot as I’m, another guys in all probability decide it up but it surely’s not as massive a deal.”

I do know you are an Previous Faculty RnB man, what are you placing on if given management of the locker room music whenever you get to the NFL?

“For them I attempt to take it again, I placed on some Al Inexperienced possibly, some Earth, Wind & Fireplace, some old style, chill vibes.

Wanya Morris in action at the Senior Bowl

Wanya Morris in motion on the Senior Bowl

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April 29, 2023, 12:00am

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Take us again to your childhood, what was life like rising up in Grayson, Georgia?

Adversity was round each nook, however we had been all the time a household who stored our head up and smiled by way of the ache, persevered and simply stored transferring as a result of we knew stuff would occur. I needed to develop up, different youngsters get to do sure issues you do not as a result of you might have obligations now. It was all the time altering, however we’re nonetheless right here.

“We weren’t the wealthiest individuals, there have been occasions after we needed to sleep in our vehicles and issues like that, however you’ll by no means actually know that as a result of our mum did such an excellent job of offering for us. We made one of the best of occasions regardless of the state of affairs we had been in. We would not have essentially the most cash, generally we’d go to Centennial Park and run across the park at the hours of darkness at 12 at evening and possibly cease at Denny’s or Waffle Home. It was little issues that make you’re taking your thoughts off issues.”

Do you suppose your background contributes to why reaching the NFL means a lot?

“Positively, it is one of many video games I’ve performed to flee actuality. Once I’m between these traces nothing can cease me and I am simply on the market having enjoyable, it could be nice to place in a state of affairs to handle my mum. All she’s sacrificed, I wish to give her the world if I can.”

Wanya Morris profile

FacultyTennessee (2019-2020), Oklahoma (2021-2022)
Arm size35 1/8″
40-Yard Sprint5.1 seconds
10-Yard Cut up1.73 seconds
Vertical Soar28.5″
Broad Soar9’3″

Earlier than we get into the soccer, who’s Wanya Morris away from the sector?

“I really like watching TV reveals, I am an enormous anime man. I began instructing myself to play piano, only recently we have had time to ourselves as a result of faculty is a continuing schedule so after we began coaching I had extra time on my fingers. For me I am an individual who enjoys all elements of life, speaking to individuals, having fun with new issues, soccer, however you have to have one thing to separate and take your thoughts off it. You would possibly find yourself being a foul place, in case you aren’t discovering issues to get away from it and channel your feelings by way of it actually deteriorates your mindset so I believe it is actually vital to seek out issues outdoors soccer.

“As soon as you’ve got executed with soccer, who’re you going to be, what are you going to do?”

Was soccer all the time the trail?

My mum needed me to cease enjoying soccer, I believe she thought I used to be executed with soccer, she was uninterested in all of the travelling. Then we met a Coach Kenyatta (Kenyatta Watson), he is like a father, he stored telling her ‘Wanya goes to go to the NFL, Wanya goes to go to the NFL, it’s good to simply do it, he’ll the NFL’.

“She was like ‘alright alright’ and we simply caught with him and later down the road we’re on that path nonetheless on that journey and it is loopy.”

When your identify known as this weekend, will it nearly be a ‘instructed you so’ second?

“We’ll in all probability simply rejoice collectively actually, quite a lot of the occasions she’ll inform me she’s proper. Mum is all the time proper, I am going to in all probability inform her ‘I instructed you’ as I am hugging her. It should in all probability be a factor we are saying collectively, as soon as we caught with it we caught with.

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April 29, 2023, 5:00pm

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Morris during his time at Tennessee

Morris throughout his time at Tennessee

Take us again to the NFL Mix, you are operating your 40-Yard Sprint and all of a sudden you endure a hamstring damage, what are you considering in that second?

“You noticed, you noticed I used to be going to get an excellent time, I nonetheless bought a reasonably good time, however the one I used to be chasing after I used to be that shut. It simply tells you something may be taken away from you on the snap of a finger, so that you’ve bought to cherish each second, it is why I’ve all the time bought a smile on my face and having fun with the second.

“The instant emotion was ‘do not fall on my face’, it was ‘okay we’re going to determine how we fall, I am not going to fall on my face’, by the point I bought to the road I had it thought up how I used to be going to fall, that was the primary time however after that it was like ‘man it felt good, I knew I had it’. As I used to be operating I felt it and was like ‘that is the one’, after which increase I used to be like ‘don’t fall in your face’, as I slid I used to be like ‘okay, this actually hurts, cannot do nothing about it now, rise up and do what they inform you to do and go from there’.”

“After that it was just about simply them saying ‘you continue to ran an excellent time’, stuff like that. Nothing however hopes and prayers, I am fairly positive they had been speculating ‘if he did not try this what time would he have ran’, I believe everyone knew I used to be going to get that good time.”

Your faculty profession was nearly one in all two halves: you began in Tennessee earlier than transferring to Oklahoma forward of the 2021 season, do you suppose it modified your profession trajectory?

“Positively. Switching from Tennessee to Oklahoma wasn’t simple, as a result of Tennessee is house for me, that place will without end have a particular place in my coronary heart, however so will Oklahoma with the bonds and reminiscences. You all the time bear in mind your old flame, I am going to all the time bear in mind Tennessee, the experiences I had there, I all the time maintain that shut that to my coronary heart. I really feel like Oklahoma and being unbiased, I am from Georgia which is like 13 or 14 hours away, it helped me mature in quite a lot of methods I wanted to, it helped me develop up and realise issues will not be the identical without end. It modified my mindset.”

Morris has been projected as a potential day two pick

Morris has been projected as a possible day two decide

How a lot of an affect has Oklahoma offensive line coach Invoice Bedenbaugh been in your profession?

“He is one of many components that helped me mature, he is an old style coach and I actually wanted it at the moment to push me to locations I did not know I might go. He was the man who helped me open my eyes to the larger recreation, he taught me quite a bit within the movie room, taught me to observe movie and analyse, he helped me grow to be a better participant. Taking part in with him enhanced that to a different degree.”

We’re within the season of scouting reviews and wall-to-wall evaluation, how would you promote your self to the staff that’s contemplating drafting you?

“Positively athletic, intuitive, good, is usually a chief, powerful, mentally powerful, and someone you may lean on and depend on, being a fantastic communicator on and off the sector.”

Was there a specific opponent that stood out as your largest take a look at throughout your faculty profession?

“Not too long ago Will McDonald, he made me suppose quite a bit after we performed. He made me suppose an entire lot, you understand sure strikes are coming, you simply do not know when. It is how he units it up is completely different each time, he has actually good bend so it was onerous to catch him, we battled it out and had some good battles. It was Halloween so it was a spooky day.”

Are you able to describe the distinction in the way you’re establishing towards a bull-rush man in comparison with a rusher that prides themselves on finesse and a large menu of strikes?

“With a bull-rusher you wish to be sure you get your fingers on him first and get your toes within the floor, be sure you’re inside-out, engaged on brief units, tight 5-techs, possibly a 7-tech, getting your toes within the floor, protecting the bottom and staying sq.. Finesse guys, my mindset is to get off the ball, give myself some house to get better if one thing does occur after which play basketball with him actually.”

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Do you consider you are getting sufficient recognition on this offensive deal with class?

“Positively not, that is by no means been an issue although as a result of individuals will draft who they draft, after that you have nonetheless bought to make the staff and carry out.

Do you might have an NFL idol? A participant who you both grew up watching or needed to be?

“Joe Thomas, I checked out Joe Thomas. I watched the Eagles quite a bit as a result of my brother is an Eagles fan, so I used to like Donovan McNabb, DeSean Jackson, Michael Vick, guys that go on the market and placed on a present.

What was it about Joe Thomas?

“I appreciated his set, I attempted to make use of his set and stance which is difficult for me, I am not that lengthy, I prefer to have my toes underneath me and be like athletic, not broad however not slim however nearly like shoulder width.”

Who’re you trying ahead to going through most within the NFL?

“Haason Reddick, Micah Parsons, that is a big-time one, Khalil Mack, the Bosa brothers, Myles Garrett. I really like challenges, I really like competitors, that will get the adrenaline pumping, on the market competing towards one of the best, you get to play one of the best and say ‘I am one of the best’, I really like that competitors.”

Was is it about Micah Parsons that makes him so harmful? How are you setting as much as face him?

“He is a reactive rusher, when he reacts it is fast, you’ve got bought to have the ability to react proper there with him. He is a man that in case you do not make a transfer he’ll wait so that you can make a transfer so it is who’s going to sell-out first.”

Who’s your excellent NFL teammate on the subsequent degree?

“I might like to play with Lane (Johnson), my boy Creed (Humphrey) and Trey (Smith) simply due to the chemistry there. However you by no means know the place you are going to find yourself!”

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