Alabama quarterback Alec Morris is planning to return home to play for North Texas.
Morris has spent the last four seasons with the Crimson Tide and is a redshirt junior. He is a former Allen standout.
Morris is in the process of receiving his release from Alabama and intends to finish his career at UNT, a source close to the situation said late Monday night.
Morris will stay with Alabama through the end of the bowl season, the source said. The Crimson Tide will face Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Eve at AT&T Stadium in the semifinal of the College Football Playoff.
Morris spent his first season at Alabama as a redshirt and played sparingly the last three years. He has one season of eligibility remaining. Morris will arrive at UNT as a fifth-year senior transfer who would be eligible immediately.
New UNT coach Seth Littrell took over the Mean Green’s program following last season and vowed to install the high powered passing attack that made him one of the nation’s up-and-coming offensive coordinators. He spent time at Arizona and Indiana before guiding North Carolina’s offense this season. The Tar Heels are averaging 40.9 points a game heading into their showdown with Baylor in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Tuesday.
Littrell vowed to take a long look at UNT’s quarterback situation heading into his first campaign with the Mean Green.
The addition of Morris will give Littrell an elite talent to build around.
The website 247 Sports ranked Morris No. 26 on its list of the top pro style quarterbacks in the Class of 2012.
The Dallas Morning News named Morris second-team all-area after he threw for 3,242 yards and 35 touchdowns during his senior season at Allen in 2011.
UNT started two quarterbacks last season in Andrew McNulty and DaMarcus Smith. McNulty graduated after last season, while Smith is set to return for his senior season next year.
The addition of Morris will give UNT another option going forward and one of its top transfers in recent years.
Morris was a contender in the race to take over as Alabama’s starting quarterback heading into the 2015 season following the graduation of Blake Sims, but eventually lost that battle to senior Jake Coker.
Morris is listed third on Alabama’s depth chart behind Coker and sophomore Cooper Bateman. Morris threw one pass while playing in three games so far this season.
If Morris completes the transfer process, he will follow in the footsteps of several UNT players who transferred back to the Dallas area and closer to home to complete their college careers.
Safety Marcus Trice was a key member of UNT’s 2013 team that won nine games and beat UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl after beginning his career at Oklahoma. One of UNT’s top defensive players this season was linebacker Anthony Wallace, a former Dallas Skyline standout who began his career at Oregon.
Morris is poised to become the next in the line of transfers to arrive at UNT, which has been searching for an impact player at quarterback since the departure of Derek Thompson after the 2013 season.
Thompson threw for 2,896 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. UNT has started four quarterbacks and changed starters four times in two seasons since.
Senior Andrew McNulty started the first five games of this season before the Mean Green turned to DaMarcus Smith for six games. McNulty came back to start UNT’s season finale against UTEP.
Smith will return for his senior season next fall, when the Mean Green appear likely to have another top quarterback on the roster in Morris.