Injured Morgan Still Making Presence Known

Arkansas wide receiver Drew Morgan - who had a team-high 10 touchdown catches last season - is limited in what he can do in spring drills, but is not limiting his enthusiasm.

Perhaps the most noticeable guy at last Saturday’s scrimmage was someone who was not even participating.

Senior wide receiver Drew Morgan - who led Arkansas with 10 touchdown catches last season - has an injured shoulder and is thus not going through contact work.

But he was all over the field congratulating players, telling them what they did wrong and basically just coaching them up to the delight of head coach Bret Bielema.

“He was awesome,” Bielema said. “He's a very energetic kid. Very motivated. He helps those younger players out a lot.”

Morgan explains it as “bringing the juice.”

“There is one thing that I like to say on the field and it’s that ‘I bring the juice,’” Morgan said. “Nobody knows what the juice is, but whatever it is, I bring it.

“They all say it in the locker room and they mess around with me, but when it is game time or practice time and I say it, that something that fires them up. If that is what it is, that’s what it is and you just have to keep everybody rolling on the same track.”

Morgan was part of a group that became a strength of Arkansas’ team last season despite injuries to Keon Hatcher, Cody Hollister and Jared Cornelius all in a span of eight days.

Hatcher was lost for the season after two games, Hollister for most of it and Cornelius for a few games.

Morgan stepped up to catch a whopping 63 passes for 843 yards and the 10 touchdowns after having just 10 catches for 181 yards and one touchdown his sophomore season. 

“I think last year what happened to the wideouts wasn’t necessarily a great thing because guys went down, but it definitely helped us,” Morgan said. “Only because we had to put younger guys in and the younger guys - including me - had to step up and play.

“I felt like that just to get the feel and the vision for the SEC when you are playing is so easy. To come by it on a Saturday when you are not playing is not easy, it’s hard, but if you go out there and know the plays, the faster you play and it is going to make things easier in the future.

“I feel like with the competition that we are bringing to the table, it is going to be very hard for the DBs in the SEC this season.”

The wide receiver corp returns Dominique Reed (28 catches, 535 yards, 6 TDs), Cornelius (24 catches, 293 yards, 3 TDs), Hatcher (13 catches, 198 yards and 2 TDs in just two games) and Hollister (4 catches, 65 yards in one game).

"Drew is a hoot and holler kind of guy which I am not," Hollister said. "Drew is great. He is that cheerleader when he needs to be."

They will also add in redshirt freshmen LaMichael Pettway (6-2, 205) and Deon Stewart (5-11, 166).

“LaMichael is a big kid,” Morgan said. “A big kid and you will see it. He is way over 6-1, 6-2, 215 - he’s 225 at least, he is just a big kid that goes out and makes plays and has really sure hands.

“We have got to get his routes right, but other than that he is a big body that reminds me a lot of Julio Jones.

“Deon - the kid can run fast. If he gets out in the open, you are not catching him. This past scrimmage, he got out in the open and he kind of slowed down a little bit, but when he took off, he took off. 

“He brings a lot to the table. He is doing really good the past couple of weeks since I have been watching and coaching, he has been the standout for me.”

Morgan has also had a chance to look over the four quarterbacks - Austin Allen, Rafe Peavey, Ty Storey and Ricky Town.

“I tell you one thing, I don’t think that we have taken any steps backwards, we haven’t fallen down the ladder, I feel like everybody quarterback has their paddle rowing forward in the boat, everybody’s esteem is really high,” Morgan said.

“Austin is really doing good, Rafe is doing awesome, Storey is shocking a lot of people and Ricky Town just has a cannon. I think we just have a lot of guys that can play this year.”

Morgan’s main goal is to get as many wins as possible his senior season and thus have a chance to play in the NFL.

“I have set some goals and most of the goals aren’t really based off me,” Morgan said. “I base them off the team. 

“I want to go play in the NFL and I want to make money at the next level. I feel like I have the ability to play at the next level. I bring some things to the table at the next level.

“But to get there, we have to be a winning team so whatever I have to do for the team to win, that’s my goal.

“I am still figuring that out through the spring and summer and I have got a lot of time to do that right now, but my main goal right now is to get as healthy as possible.”

Drew Morgan

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