10/24/2012 3:10 PM
JACKSONVILLE – As the Arena Football League’s exclusive period moves through its second week, the 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks announced Wednesday that the team will return to signal caller who led the team to its third consecutive division title. Quarterback Bernard Morris has been assigned to the Jacksonville roster on a two-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
A member of the team during the Sharks’ inaugural 2010 season, the 27-year-old Morris returned to Jacksonville prior to Week 3 of the 2012 season. Morris initially served as the team’s backup quarterback, coming into two different games as an injury replacement. In Week 9 against New Orleans, the second of those two contests, Morris helped erase a 37-14 third-quarter deficit as the Sharks scored the game’s final 27 points en route to a dramatic 41-37 win.
From that point forward, Morris took on the role of starting quarterback, leading Jacksonville to a 7-4 record over the remainder of the regular season. With Morris under center, the Sharks won four of the team’s final five regular-season games – including each of the last three – en route to the South Division title.
“When Bernard’s number was called, he produced. At the quarterback position, he led our team to the conference finals and we are very excited to have him back,” Sharks Head Coach Les Moss said. “He knows and understands the high expectations that we set for our franchise from day one. He is ready to compete and committed to getting this team back to winning championships.”
In the 2012 regular season, Morris completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 2,402 yards, setting a new career high with 59 touchdown passes against 14 interceptions. Morris is also one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league in terms of moving out of the pocket, as he set a new franchise record with 291 rushing yards in 2012. That total ranked Morris second in the league, and he also finished second in both yards per rush (4.3) and rushing yards per game (20.7). Thanks in large part to Morris’ efforts on the ground, Jacksonville finished the 2012 season as the second-best rushing offense in the league.
Prior to his return to Jacksonville, Morris served as the Pittsburgh Power’s starting quarterback for part of the 2011 season. With the Power, Morris appeared in 11 games, and threw for 2,458 yards and 55 touchdowns against just nine interceptions. That season, Morris also ran for 312 yards and four touchdowns on just 46 carries for a remarkable average of 6.8 yards per carry, a figure that led the league among qualifying rushers.
Morris served as Jacksonville’s backup quarterback during the 2010 season, completing 51 of 83 passes for 567 yards and eight touchdowns against no interceptions. Morris was also the team’s second-leading rusher that season, carrying the ball 32 times for 97 yards and six touchdowns. The versatile Morris also started three games at Jack linebacker, recording twelve total tackles and a pass breakup that year.
Before turning pro, Morris played collegiate football at Marshall University. He began his professional career with the Indoor Football League’s Arkansas Twisters in 2009.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and back-to-back-to-back South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Season Tickets for the 2013 season are now available, two tickets as low as $185. To reserve your season tickets or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.