So, Joe, how does it feel to be in this kind of company?
"Well, that's some company to be in, but, really, I'm not in it."
How do you compare with them?
"I won't compare," Morris says, "because I don't compare."
But, of course, he does. No less an authority than Ben Schwartzwalder, the Syracuse coach for 25 years, who retired after the 1973 season and who coached all the great Orange backs except Morris, says, "He is in their class, yes sir. He's like something out of a cannon."
A Lowell, Mass. newspaper reporter wrote, " Joe Morris is not able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He does, however, give a speeding bullet a good run for its money." And he gives every other back in the country a good run for his money. In fact, if only Syracuse were a better football team—the Orangemen may have to play above their heads to achieve a .500 mark this year—Morris would be an even-money Heisman pick.
In sum, Joe Morris—so tough, so fast, so strong, so willing, so straight, so modest, so dedicated—ranks among the very best all-round football players in the land. He is, however, perhaps only the fourth best player in his own family. True. If they chose up sides in the Morris family, Joe just might be the last choice. Nobody understands that better than Joe, who, when told once by a reporter, "You're the greatest," responded, "No, sir, I'm just the latest."
These days he's even losing his grip on being the latest, because two of his three brothers are scholarship football players as freshmen at Syracuse. Larry Morris, 19, is a devastating runner who obliterated Joe's rushing records at Ayer High. Larry got 5,758 yards; Joe had a school-record 3,367. Larry scored 72 touchdowns, Joe 49. Mike Morris, 18, is an extraordinarily fast sprinter who runs holes in the wind (he broke all of Joe's track records at Ayer) but loves football best.
Then there's Jamie, 16, a 5'6�", 155-pound 10th-grader this fall, who has everything his brothers have—only more. When Joe was a senior at Ayer High, he ran a creditable 51.2 440; last year, as a freshman, Jamie broke Joe's school record with a 48.9, and he wasn't going all-out.
In fact, every one of Joe's football records and every one of Joe's track records at Ayer have been broken by his brothers. "I ain't got nothing left," sighs Joe from a green and white sofa at home.