Campbell defender Jake Morris recently became the second CU player to sign an MLS deal in the past three seasons.
BUIES CREEK — The Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer has signed Campbell University defender Jake Morris through the 2023 season with options in 2024 and 2025.
The Crew acquired Morris' MLS Homegrown Priority from Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for $50,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) for 2022, with potential for additional allocation money should Morris meet certain performance-based incentives.
Morris is the second Campbell player to sign with an MLS team in the last three seasons. Thibaut Jacquel was selected by FC Dallas in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
He represented Campbell from 2020-2021, making 28 appearances while registering seven goals and 11 assists.
"We are very happy for Jake and his family," said Campbell head coach Dustin Fonder.
"This was a big goal of Jake's when he came to Campbell so it's great to see it come to fruition. He deserves a lot of credit for being coachable, having a great attitude, and always working hard.
We wish him the best going forward with the Columbus Crew. Hopefully, this will open the door for more players to follow in the future."
He played in all 21 matches with 17 starts for the Big South Conference regular-season and tournament champion Camels in 2021.
Morris finished sixth among league scoring leaders with 18 points on five goals and eight assists.
A second team All-Big South winger, 13 of his 14 points came in eight regular-season Big South matches where the Camels posted a 7-0-1 record. In league games only, he finished second in points, first in game-winning goals and tied second in assists.
He helped Campbell finish the season ranked in the top four in the nation (out of 202 NCAA Division I schools) in seven offensive categories.
"We would like to welcome Jake to the Crew," said Columbus Crew President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko.
"Jake is a young player whose addition to our roster will help increase the depth of our backline. We look forward to incorporating him into our squad and working with him as he continues his professional development."
Prior to his time in the collegiate ranks, Morris was part of the Sounders Academy from 2016-2018. During his time in Seattle, the defender featured for the Tacoma Defiance, Sounders FC's second team.
Crew players are set to report for entrance physicals and testing on Jan. 16 before departing for a training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The team is scheduled to travel to Charleston, South Carolina from Feb. 7 through 19 for the second trip of the preseason.