From Inside the Red Raiders
Behren Morton will travel from the small West Texas town of Eastland to Nashville, Tenn., this week to compete in the Elite 11 Finals. The four-star quarterback and Texas Tech commit looks to stand out among a strong field of competitors in an opportunity to showcase the skills he regularly displays against Texas Class 3A foes.
“Growing up I was always watching Elite 11. I knew that if I ever got that invitation to the finals that it was a done deal that I would go,” Morton told 247Sports. “Watching Justin Fields, Trevor Lawrence, and Jalen Hurts and all of these great quarterbacks, to have an invitation to this special event and getting that opportunity to go, that was a no-brainer.”
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Morton is the highest-ranked recruit in Texas Tech’s 2021 class, which stands at eight commitments entering the week. He’s playing a key role helping the Red Raiders assemble their class, which he hopes to bolster with some more in-state names.
“We’ve had some big commitments on the offensive side of the ball. We’re looking to get some big-time defensive commitments when we can finally get guys on visits,” Morton said. “We got (receiver) Jerand Bradley out there as a big body and he can go up and get the ball. Jack Tucker on the line and he’s a really good offensive tackle. I’m really excited about recruiting the 2021 class and hope we can keep building on that.
“Cam’ron Valdez, the Rockdale running back. He’s a big target for us for sure. I’ve been texting him almost every day,” Morton said. “Devin Lemear for Manor. He’s a DB and he’s one of our top defensive players to get that defensive side of the ball rolling. Those two, coach (Matt) Wells has been hitting me up about keeping them on the line for sure.”
Morton is a four-star prospect on the industry-generated 247Sports Composite, which ranks him 185th overall in the country’s 2021 cycle, No. 10 nationally among 2021 pro-style quarterbacks, and No. 31 overall in the state of Texas. The Top247 rankings put Morton higher across the board: No. 104 overall, fifth among dual-threat QB’s, and No. 17 overall in the Lone Star State.
“I’ve been working since Day 1 of the quarantine,” Morton said. “I’m nervous but it’s a good nervous. I’m just ready to get down to Tennessee and compete.”
Morton burst on the scene as a sophomore in 2018, when he threw for 2,435 yards, 18 touchdowns, and four interceptions, while rushing for 146 yards and four TD’s. He followed that with a strong 2019 junior campaign that included 2,766 passing yards, 29 TD throws, and five picks, along with 156 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
Morton’s spread offense for Eastland High is different from what he expects to run at the Elite 11 finals. With that in mind, he has spent time leading up to the event working on things that will translate to the competition.
“They gave us a play script that they have us learn so I’ve been going over that play script with my receivers,” Morton said. “It’s an offense I’m not used to. It’s under center with a lot of play-actions, so I’ve never really done that in a game, so I have to rep that out a lot while I can. It’s been fun working on all of it.