ET Football: Gilmer's Morton signs with Oklahoma State
Jan. 9, 2017 at 1:08 p.m.
GILMER — They're running out of room in the Gilmer Buckeye fieldhouse, both in the trophy case and on the walls that are lined with former players who have made the move to the next level.
It's time to make room for one more, a player who has had a hand in earning those trophies.
Surrounded by teammates, coaches, family and friends, LaMarcus Morton added his name to the long list on Monday as he signed a financial aid agreement with Oklahoma State University.
"It's such a blessing," Morton said. "Guys like McLane Carter, Blake Lynch, Kris Boyd, so many, it's nice to be a part of that legacy and carry it on."
Morton, a firm commit to the Cowboys since verbally pledging on a trip to Stillwater, Okla. this past summer, has graduated from Gilmer and will enroll early at Oklahoma State.
"In June when I took my visit, it just felt like home and I fell in love with the coaches, the facilities and the atmosphere," Morton said. "I heard from other schools down the stretch but it never got personal.
"I was solid."
Solid describes his final season with the Buckeyes, where he'll be etched in the Gilmer record books after hauling in a school-best 1,368 yards, breaking a single-season record set in 2011 by Darrion Pollard. His 67 receptions as a senior are fifth-most in school history and his 15 touchdowns are good for second all-time in Gilmer behind current Baylor Bear Lynch and one ahead of Texas Longhorn standout Curtis Brown.
"This was always a goal of his," Gilmer head coach Matt Turner said. "It's always exciting to see someone set a goal and then achieve it.
"He's put in the time, put in the work. He's going to have a whole new set of goals at Oklahoma State so we're excited about those."
Morton doubled up on his class load this past semester at Gilmer, setting up an early arrival at Oklahoma State in time for spring practices.
"That speaks to his focus and his goals," Turner added. "He's a focused individual and has shown the maturity it takes to get it done.
"He's very athletic and runs well. There's a lot of different ways that (Oklahoma State) can use him. He's going to compete and will carry his work ethic up there and that will do him well."
As a sophomore, Morton was on Gilmer's 2014 state championship team. Later that spring, he brought home more state gold as a part of the Buckeyes' mile relay team. He finished with 589 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior before a breakout two-way senior season.
Now, it's time to start on the next goal.
"I've got to see the bigger picture," he said. "I've got to go compete for my spot every day.
"I'm ready to go up there and do that."
Oklahoma State opens the season at home against Tulsa on Sept. 2. The Cowboys take on Texas Tech, who feature Carter at quarterback, on Sept. 30 before hosting Lynch and Baylor on Oct. 14 and visiting Kris and Demarco Boyd and the Longhorns on Oct. 21.
Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h