I just can't seem to get excited about a commit right now. Welcome aboard though
Hello: Desmond Morgan
Instate linebacker burst onto the scene near the end of October, receiving an official offer from the Wolverines. Just a couple months later, he's committed to wearing the winged helmet next fall. Tom has some commitment quotes from the kid.
|3*, #43 MLB||3*, 5.5, NR ILB||3*, 78, #24 ILB|
The three sites are unanimous in Morgan's 6-1, 225-pound size, and his mid-level ranking as an overall prospect. ESPN is the outlier, ranking him in the top 25 of inside linebackers, whereas he's outside the top 40 on the other two sites (Rivals stops ranking them at #45). For a breakdown of his game, let's start with ESPN's evaluation:
Morgan is a very tough run stopper; displays dominant playing strength at the point of attack. Has the size and athleticism for the inside linebacker position at the major level of competition... We like his hand use, showing the physical playing strength to take on and defeat blockers at the point; demonstrates the ability to play low and keep his feet free when moving laterally vs. the outside run.
So, excellent run-stopper, something that Michigan has lacked since David Harris left town (though, in fairness, Kenny Demens seems to be performing well in that role).
Flashes good underneath screen recognition ability however all area of coverage will need refinement; man coverage assignments must be carefully evaluated. This guy plays with the intensity and motor we look for when evaluating the ILB position... Morgan may need some time to polish coverage skills. If a red shirt year is not deemed necessary he could see early playing time on special teams.
A little weak in coverage, as you'd expect from most linebackers at the high school level. Tom interviewed him shortly after he received the Michigan offer, and Desmond divulged what the coaches like about his game:
They said they're looking for kids that knew how to hit, and that aren't afraid to get after it. They want guys that have a nose for the ball, and smart kids. I learn from my coaches, and I give 110% no matter what. Even if I'm doing something wrong, I'm going to go 100 MPH doing it.
That sounds like an "effort guy" - and the last part sounds so much like Jonas Mouton that it's not even funny.
One thing that's important to note - especially given that ESPN questions his physical ability to play in coverage at an elite level - is that he's a high school quarterback, in addition to his responsibilities on the other side of the ball. That may help his instincts and reads in pass coverage, helping cover for any physical limitations.
The Holland Sentinel says he's "fast enough to help the U-M defense now," though that should obviously be taken with a grain of salt. An opposing coach says he's "a great football player," but that's not terribly descriptive.
As mentioned above, Morgan's recruitment really took off a bit later in the fall, unsurprising for a guy whose primary job in high school is as a Tebow-style (or Chris Relf-style, if you require a more timely reference) Rhinoback. Only a host of MAC schools had offered him in the summer.
Northwestern and Michigan were his final two.
Scout's very brief blurb:
Recorded 120 tackles as a junior.
That earned him 1st-team All-Area and All-State Honorable Mention. I couldn't find exact senior-season stats on the internet. I'll scour the tubes once more, and hopefully have more detail for tomorrow's Friday Night Lights post.
FAKE 40 TIME
Rivals: 4.7. Scout: 4.65. Those are pretty darn good times for a middle linebacker, especially one that ESPN basically calls "slow." I'll give it three FAKES out of five.
Here's his junior year:
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Part of ESPN's breakdown says that he looks like a spectacular special teamer, as he loves to hit and has good athleticism. That ability may help Desmond get onto the field as a true freshman. However, with kenny Demens and Mike Jones seemingly solid at linebacker spots for the next couple years (assuming a full recovery from Jones's broken leg), Michigan will more likely try to redshirt him, then give him that redshirt freshman year on special teams before being thrown strongly into the mix.
He probably wouldn't become a full-time starter until redshirt junior or redshirt senior seasons, and with Kellen Jones also in the class, there's some flexibility as to where each of them will play. If you held a gun to my head, I'd say Jones is more able to play inside and outside, whereas Morgan is more of a true inside 'backer.
He seems like an instinctual player, even if his physical attributes aren't the greatest. That's the sort of guy that Iowa and Wisconsin regularly turn into All-conference performers, and I think that's also the ceiling for Desmond.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
What is... defensive... recruit?
Michigan is starting to fill in the defensive side of the ball a little bit. There's still a need for more bodies there (safeties and defensive tackles, please), but Morgan shores up a big area of need in linebacker.
I hesitate to predict too far into the future of this recruiting class, as several commits and interested prospects are likely to look elsewhere should Rich Rodriguez be dismissed as Michigan's head coach. That said, another offensive lineman, a wide receiver or two, possibly a quarterback, and a host of defensive linemen and safeties will fill out the class.
Wow. What a useful comment.
Anybody else wondering where the big fast impact linebackers and safeties who dominated in the top high school leagues in the midwest have disappeared to? The 4 and 5 star beasts that made us so formidable for 2 decades?
I saw a lot of them in the Big Ten this season making Denard's 50-yard gains against Bowling Green, into less than 5-yard gains.
I am not sorry for asking either. The question gets right to the heart of what we have become and the struggles we have witnessed defensively.
The analysis of Chris Spielman after the Wisconsin game that we are fielding an Indiana talent level defense rings in my ears. Jump on Youtube and look at our back 7 beginning in 2008 and prior. The size difference between those defenses and the 2009-2010 defense is pronounced. It is apparent to even a non-football fan.
I still see scant evidence that Rodriguez gets what this program needs to be about defensively. It has to be about more than recruiting great kids with great high school pedigrees who likely lack the necessary size and athleticism to help us play winning football against great programs.
Hope I am wrong.
There's always at least one jackass who has to crap on the new commit in the Hello:New Commit thread. Congrats Nate Volk, you're today's asshole of the day. I hope Desmond Morgan wins the Butkus Fitzgerald award and takes a shit on your chest.
I've never thought about it that way. You know you should get Rich Rod on the phone and tell him to only start recruiting big fast 5 star D-Backs and LBs. I bet he makes you the new DC with all the great knowledge you have on how to field a football team.
I would also add that perhaps Rich Rod should recruit some wizards like Harry Potter. That way he can use his wand and knock the ball out of the air on every pass!!
Do you mean to say that our freshman corners and safeties are undersized? What a surprise!
Also, this dude is 6'1" and 225 lbs. as a high school senior. I don't know why you're complaining about size in this here thread.
I was watching a UM game from 2005 a couple of weeks ago and it was awesome to see Woodley, Harris and Crable on the field. I'm still hoping that it won't be too much longer (January 4th?) before we start seeing impact defensive players again.
That being said, I think that Desmond Morgan is a pretty good pick up. He has the size and attittude. It's nice to see some home grown Michigan kids get to fulfill their dreams of playing for the Wolverines. I hope he has a great career experience.
hasn't worked out very well. And he transferred to West Virginia, then to Notre Dame college of Ohio. Doesn't help us much there. And he went batshit crazy, robbing people with a plastic gun. That wasn't good. He put our hat on during the All American game, but he hasn't played up to that potential quite yet. Or he graduated a bonafide soul destroyer just a year ago, first round pick. Remember that midwest star? I sure do.
Of course, 2 are starting on the DL. I'm sure he's upset that his ankles blew and he disappointed you. Two are starting at DE, undersized but young. One's in the middle at LB and looking like you like them to look like. Another's been at FS, then spur, soon a WLB making plays. Oh, and probably the top Midwest corner prospect in the country last year is back there too.
But golly Volk, we'll try to do better
were full of guys like this. I'll take all the Clint Copenhavers and Rob Swetts I can get. If Pat Fitzgerald thinks this guy can play linebacker, that's a good enough endorsement for me.
You get that your post is utterly irreconcilable with your signature, right?
According to Rivals, here are the 4 star LB recruits from 2002-2007:
Jeremy Van Alstyne
...that's it. Not a "beast" among them. We had seven 3 stars during that time (David Harris and not much else) and two 5 stars (Woodley and Graham*, who turned into all-world studs, but mostly at DL, not LB).
Point being? Our "good ole days" of LB recruiting for the LB position haven't been anything to write home about for at least a decade except for David Harris (a 3 star). This is not an RR thing in terms of recruiting. Michigan is not seen as LB U, for whatever reason. I hope Morgan and Jones (along with Demens building on this year) can help change that.
*Yes, I would love to have a 5 star LB who turned into a great DL/LB/S/whatever in this class. But we're talking about LBs, Morgan's position. Plus, RR's 5 star defensive players, Campbell and Turner, are now on offense and out of DI-A football, respectively, so "studs" haven't been doing very well for us lately.
Wisconsin hasn't had a 4 star linebacker sign since 2006.
Iowa hasn't had one sign since 2006 either.
Where does this sense of entitlement with the 5 star recruits come from?
Very happy to have you. Also, glad to get a commit in the month of December.
Particularly this December!
Hope your time in AA is used to crush some running backs, wide receivers and special team players of the B10 into oblivion. Hope you enjoy your stay!
Welcome aboard, Desmond. I'm looking forward to watching you play for the Wolverines.
So does anyone see another backer being taken this year? Looks like Dawson and grant are the only others on the board and both are a very large stretch to come here so does this basically end linebacker recruitin or is there someone else out there?
I'm guessing they'd take another top one if they could land him, but that isn't seeming likely.
Kris Frost will likely end up at linebacker, though he's listed as an athlete.
Desmond, and congratulations on escaping Holland.
Agreed and Agreed. Go WO, Go Blue, Get Out of Holland
Always love a "Hello". This is a kid that will take full advantage of the weight room and mask any "so called" lack of talent with effort and hardwork. Everyteam needs players like him, can't wait to see how he turns out.
Hey guys, finally joined this site, its awesome. Just thought I would throw my 2 cents out there.
Morgan seems like a great pick up, really need him to help us out at linebacker. I also hope we can really get James Ross, St. Mary's stud junior middle linebacker, because living around the Catholic League area there's a reason it's ranked one of the top leagues in the nation for football, it produces defensive stars. We have one of our own in Mike Martin, Penn State has Colisanti out of Brother Rice, State has Misch out of St. Marys and Earnest Thomas at Illinois. The Catholic League is known for tough nosed defensive prospects and its shown that they can play once they get to the college level. I think Ross would be one of the best linebackers we've seen in a while if we can get him next year.
does this guy get over looked?His film is insane.He might see early playing time,2nd year maybe after a redshirt.GO BLUE!!!
He's not lying when he says he always gives 110 percent. I've watched him play about every home game and a few away games the last 3 years, and he really does give it all. I'm no expert, but he stands out and make a visible difference in a game - in physicality, effort, brains, and a real nose for the ball. We won't regret this one - I can't wait to see him contribute in future years!
Local fluff if you want to read it - more fun now that he's on board:
Welcome to the family Desmond! Looking forward to seeing this kid on the field for us.
I like this kid a lot. He'll soak up the coaching and compete every day. Heady linebacker with a nose for the ball. Well done Desmond. Welcome aboard.
In one of his posts this year, Brian commented on the Iowa defense, and how they always seemed to pick up 3 star guys who just performed. Iowa's defense has often been formidable, as a result. This is what comes to mind with Desmond Morgan. He won't flame out, he will learn what he has to do, and he'll give a 110%. These are the unsung heros, the guys who can make a good team great. We cannot have too many guys like Desmond Morgan.
Welcome aboard Desmond! This kid hits hard and likes to hit hard. I have seen him play in a number of games and he will be a great addition to Michigan. Rob Renes was our last West Ottawa Panther and Desmond has the same type of attitude and brains that will make him a leader on defense. I look forward to watching him lay out some Buckeyes.
Here's a link to a full commitment story with quotes from Desmond
Snow day for the kids, the dog and I enjoying a quiet moring while I sip hot coffee and read Hello: Des Morgan.
That's a great start to any day.
fast run stopper who likes to hit?
motor and work ethic?
I'm all in.
Welcome aboard, son! You'll get a world class education and see the field soon.
Any chance you can meet the team in Jacksonville?
Welcome to the family Desmond!
Read his comments about Michigan in the local paper at work today.. Sounds like if there was a coaching change it wouldn't bother him. Although he likes RR and wants him to be the coach. From what he said and the way RR talked about the direction of the program, Morgan said he feels confident that RR will most likely be the coach next year.
I hope he is right.
Sounds like a kid with his head on straight. Good student, good athlete, thought through his decision. Awesome!
Can't beleive there are no quotes or comments about his grit level yet. If we get anymore grit in this defense, they will need to change to uniforms made out of sandpaper. How cool would that be! Someone get Addidas on the phone ASAP!
who get in to Northwestern, Iowa and Purdue, are well-built for the position and play surprisingly well. Michigan needs some "pleasant surprises" on defense in the coming years.
Very excited about the combo of Desmond Morgan and Kellen Jones. Good kids with their heads on straight, excellent students, smart players, hard hitters, instinctive -- the kind of kids you can build great defenses around. Now if we can just get some DTs to play in front of them....
Not trying to be that guy, just figured people wanted to know but Avery Wall just committed to Cal.
Yeah, you should definitely ignore the 2(!) threads on the topic and post it in every other thread.
He doesn't have 4 stars? Does it really matter if the other evaluations are close to reality, he works out hard in the weight room and gets bigger?
Good instincts seems to be a trait that was missing this year. Welcome to the land of Go Blue!
So... some of you out there are hearing the title of this post being said by John Lithgow to Michael C. Hall, right?
enjoyed watching your game film. Noticed how you took on the blocker and still keep your eyes on the ball carrier. Smart player with a great future-welcome.