NCAA Division I Transfers Beginning to Eye Tampa as Better Option

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa has announced the addition of Johns Hopkins attacker Mike Morris and Hofstra attacker Jake Rooney to it men’s lacrosse program.

Johns Hopkins attackman Mike Morris and Hofstra attackman Jake Rooney have decided to transfer and continue their playing careers at the University of Tampa, with both enrolled at UT and eligible for competition. Both Morris and Rooney will be beginning their sophomore years in the fall 2013 semester at UT.

Mike Morris, a native of Oakville, Ontario, was a four-year standout at the Salisbury School in Connecticut, where he was a part of three New England Championships and a four-year record of 50-4. During his career at Salisbury, Morris tallied 87 goals and 53 assists and was all-league in both 2011 and 2012. He was a named a 2012 US Lacrosse High School All-American and is just the third Canadian selected to play in the Under Armour All-America game.

Jake Rooney, a native of Orlando, Fla., was a four year starter at Timber Creek High School. During his time at Timber Creek, Jake registered an impressive career point-total of 218 goals and 74 assists. Along with being a three-time all-district and all-metro selection, Rooney was named a US Lacrosse High School All-American in both 2011 and 2012.

“We are extremely excited about the addition of these young men to the Tampa community,” commented Tampa Head Coach Rory Whipple. “The level of academics offered at The University of Tampa is a real appealing option for lacrosse players around the nation. Looking at our academic, athletic, and housing facilities, as well as the city of Tampa, our beaches and warm weather year round, I think this is a very attractive option for a great college lacrosse experience.”

The University of Tampa opened the Naimoli Lacrosse Stadium and the newly renovated Bob Martinez Center in 2013. Both are seen as the top facilities of their kind in all of Division II lacrosse. Rooney and Morris elaborate on their decision to come to Tampa:

“Tampa gives me the Division I feel and commitment with a DII philosophy and some balance in my life,” commented Hofstra transfer Rooney. “This is just a real nice place to play, live and study and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.”

“I had a great opportunity with Division I and John’s Hopkins and I am very thankful for my experience there,” added JHU transfer Morris. “In the end, I felt that there was a better fit for me in Tampa to continue to play a high level of championship lacrosse while experiencing college life and an area of the states that is a really fun place to live.”

When asked about how the two Division I transfers would impact the program, Whipple replied “Guys like Mike and Jake, will not only have an impact on our program, but will also impact Division II lacrosse in the South. The fact that players from elite Division I institutions like Johns Hopkins and Hofstra see the value of the academic and lacrosse programs the University of Tampa has to offer will only continue to generate interest from other top talent from around the lacrosse world to come play their college ball in Florida.”

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