Football and academics had always meant a lot to Colin Morris.
He just never dreamt he'd get to do both in college.
The Saint Stephen's senior will sign to play football with Harvard University on Wednesday after playing just one season of varsity ball. Similar to all Ivy League school, Harvard does not offer athletic scholarships, though Morris said he will sign a letter of intent to play football with the Crimson next fall.
"I never expected I'd go to the next level and play," Morris said, "but it's great."
Morris didn't play high school football before Saint Stephen's added the sport this past fall. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Morris always enjoyed playing with his friends before he played quarterback for the Falcons. He said he may be used as a tight end at the college level.
As a quarterback, Morris completed 26 of 81 passes for 470 yards and three touchdowns in the Falcons' five varsity games. He also missed some time with a hand injury.
An exemplary student - he scored a 1490 on the SAT - Morris chose Harvard over Boston College and Florida State, both of which invited him to come out as a preferred walk on.
"Up until this point, my whole college decision was based on academics," said Morris, who said he may study economics. "Football is just a bonus, and I can't wait."
Morris visited the campus this past weekend and roomed with a student from Tampa. He got to talk with some of the football team's players and coaches, and he also got to tour the facilities of one of the best universities in the nation.
"It's just amazing," he said.
On the field, the Crimson went 7-3 last season and 4-3 against Ivy League opponents.
The signing will be a boost for Saint Stephen's, one of four area schools that debuted varsity football programs last fall.
"I'm so excited," Falcons coach Matt Kitchie said.
Other area athletes scheduled to sign Wednesday are Bayshore's Latravis Washington (Nebraska); Bradenton Prep's Jermaine McKenzie (Miami); Cardinal Mooney's Hunter Ovens (Virginia Tech) and Mike Connolly (Liberty); Lakewood Ranch's Brendan Choy (Ball State); Manatee's Austin Jensen (Florida Atlantic) and Spencer Hodges (Liberty); Palmetto's Joe Hills (South Carolina); and Southeast's Chris Hart (Liberty).