Anthony Morelli (left) hands off to Austin Scott at Penn State.
|No. 12, 9|
|Date of birth:||June 21, 1985|
|Place of birth:||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||231 lb (105 kg)|
|High school:||Penn Hills (PA)|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Career Arena football statistics|
|Stats at ArenaFan.com|
Anthony Michael Morelli (born June 21, 1985) is a former American football quarterback. He was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He played college football at Penn State.
- Early years 1
College career 2
- Controversy 2.1
Professional career 3
- Arizona Cardinals 3.1
- Milwaukee Iron 3.2
- Pittsburgh Power 3.3
- Personal 4
- References 5
- External links 6
In his high school years, Morelli was selected to the ESPN RISE Elite 11.
Morelli originally committed to the University of Pittsburgh in August 2003, but de-committed due to Pitt's existing situation with Tyler Palko, along with the recent move of Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College out of the Big East, and chose Penn State instead.
Morelli's junior year at Penn State got off to a good start: He threw a 42-yard touchdown on his first pass as the Nittany Lion's starting quarterback in a 34-16 win over the University of Akron. However, he has struggled since, particularly in a 28-6 loss to rival Ohio State. With the Lions down 14-6, Morelli threw two late interceptions that Ohio State returned for touchdowns, effectively ending any hopes of a comeback and making the game look a lot more lopsided than it was. Morelli finished the game with only 106 yards passing. As a result of this performance, Morelli's play had become a polarizing issue amongst Nittany Lion fans. Some fans wanted to bring in backup Daryll Clark, a redshirt freshman whose style of play resembles that of Morelli's predecessor and former Heisman hopeful, Michael Robinson. Other fans have come to Morelli's defense, pointing out the amount of playing time typically required to develop good quarterbacks. By season's end, Morelli had thrown for 2,424 yards, 11 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He took over third place on Penn State's season passing yardage list, trailing only Kerry Collins (1994) and Tony Sacca (1991). Despite his relatively decent statistics, Morelli expressed frustration over the conservative nature of Penn State's play calling in a November 2006 interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. After struggling all season, Morelli was able to redeem himself during the 2007 Outback Bowl against Tennessee, leading the Nittany Lions to an upset victory.
Morelli's senior season began with a dominant victory over rival Notre Dame but quickly lost momentum with ineffectual campaigns at rival Michigan and at Illinois highlighted by his tendency to turn the ball over in critical situations. Morelli then led Penn State to blowout wins over Iowa and Wisconsin and a close road win against Indiana, but Morelli struggled against rival Ohio State and was unable to rally Penn State to victory over Big Ten rival Michigan State in the closing minutes of the game. Overall, Morelli left Penn State with his name in the record books as the only quarterback in Penn State history to pass for more than 2,000 yards in two seasons.
Morelli revealed that he has not spoken with high school coach Neil Gordon since his final game in 2003. He accused Gordon and his staff of sabotaging his college recruitment, spreading rumors about his intelligence and his inability to read defenses.
Morelli was signed by the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent immediately following the 2008 NFL Draft. In his first professional appearance, Morelli went 2-6 for 13 yards against the New Orleans Saints in Arizona's 2008 preseason opener. He was cut on August 30, 2008, after a lackluster performance in week 4 of the preseason against the Denver Broncos, which included an interception returned for a touchdown.
Morelli worked out for the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills during the 2009 offseason. He was also slated to play in the Arena Football League until they suspended operations indefinitely in August 2009.
He will work out with NFL teams at the 2010 NFL Combine, in hopes of getting back in the NFL.
It was announced on November 2, 2010 that Morelli was signed by the expansion Arena League team, the Pittsburgh Power. Morelli was signed along with 15 other players after an open tryout held a month prior. Along with the former Penn State quarterback, the Power agreed to terms with his high school teammates, Tyrell Herbert and Kenny Lewis. Morelli was cut by the Pittsburgh Power in February 2011. He was re-signed on March 25. He was released again and could possibly go to either the United Football League or the Arena Football League.
- ESPN RISE Elite 11#2003
- Morelli facing high expectations - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- Penn State Nittany Lions bio