There is no questioning the athletic ability or potential that Morrah displays, but there were more than a few puzzled faces when he announced in January that he was leaving the Bears and applied for the 2009 NFL Draft. He has become the team’s starter just recently after spending two seasons backing up Craig Stevens, and managed just 41 catches in 33 games at California.
However, he is convinced that he is ready to take his game to the next level, much against the advice of his head coach, Jeff Tedford. “Coming out of high school, it was important for me to attend a college that ran a pro-style offense that would help me prepare for the next level, and Coach Tedford’s offense has been a perfect fit for me,” Morrah said in his press conference announcing his decision.
“The decision to leave Cal has been a hard one for me. My Grandma’s recent illness played a role in my decision to leave because she means so much to me and my family. She has seen me play at every level and it is important for me to try to give her the opportunity to see me play at the next level. With that said, I would not have made this decision to leave if I did not believe I was ready to be successful in the NFL.”
“We work with NFL candidates to educate them on their prospects for the draft as well as the benefits for staying in college,” Coach Tedford said. “I don’t necessarily agree with the decision, but I am supportive of Cameron and hope that he is successful at the next level.”
Morrah, who drew the attention of NFL scouts last season for his size and mobility, is the third Cal player to leave early in three years, joining tailback Marshawn Lynch and wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
Morrah was a Prep Star All-American defensive end at Claremont High School. He was named to the 2004 All-San Gabriel Valley first-team by the Los Angeles Times after leading his team to the Baseline League championship. Rivals.com gave him a four-star rating and All-American honors, ranking him as the 13th-best strong-side defensive end in the nation and 28th-best overall player in the state of California.
Morrah enrolled at California in 2005, spending the season on the scout team, adjusting to offense while learning the techniques for competing at tight end. The following season, he was joined on the Bears’ squad by his brother, Eric, who transferred to the program after spending two years as a linebacker at Kansas State.
Morrah appeared in eight games on offense and 10 games overall (special teams) in 2006. His only reception was a 3-yard touchdown vs. Portland State. He backed up Stevens in 12 games during the 2007 season, missing the Stanford contest with a knee sprain. With his size and strength, he powered his way for 155 yards and a touchdown on thirteen catches (11.9 avg).
With the receiving corps struggling in 2008, Morrah took over the role as featured pass catcher. He started all 13 games as a junior, finishing second on the team with 27 receptions for 326 yards (12.1 avg). What was very impressive was the fact that eight of those grabs were good for touchdowns (29.63 percent of his catches). Only five players had more touchdown receptions in a season for the Bears.
Attended Claremont (Pomona, Calif.) High School, earning Prep Star All-American honors as a defensive end…Named to the 2004 All-San Gabriel Valley first-team by the Los Angeles Times after leading his team to the Baseline League championship…Rivals.com gave him a four-star rating and All-American honors, ranking him as the 13th-best strong-side defensive end in the nation and 28th-best overall player in the state of California.
Positives: Long, lanky build with plenty of room for additional mass. Good use of hands and lateral quickness off the line of scrimmage to get into his route. Can threaten down the seam. Flashes the ability to sink his hips and generate some separation out of his breaks. Flashes courage over the middle to extend and make the tough catch in traffic. Can snatch the ball out of the air. Generally soft hands for the reception and will catch with his body when he is expecting a big hit. Ascending prospect whose best football is still ahead of him.
Negatives: Lacks bulk, especially in his upper body. Shows some effort as a run blocker, but is easily discarded by front seven defenders due to his lack of strength. Talented receiver, but is prone to lapses in concentration. Drops some easy passes. Doesn’t consistently use his size to his advantage over the middle. Impressive touchdown total more a reflection of defenses’ focus on dynamic sophomore running back Jahvid Best.
Compares To: JACOB TAMME, Indianapolis — Like Tamme, Morrah is going to have to find the right system to play in, as he lacks the experience, size or strength you look for in a traditional tight end. While his eight touchdown catches in 2008 are impressive, there were more lapses in concentration than production from him last season. He has just one year as a starter under his belt, but felt that after just 27 receptions he was ready for prime time. This is the type of player you draft later on the second day, based on potential and hope he eventually develops. He is just not ready for the big show yet.
2007: Sat out the Stanford contest (12/01) with a knee sprain.