Army football suffers another tragic loss

For the second time in less than a month Army football lost a member of its family in a traffic accident. Ryan Morgan, a sophomore wide receiver, was killed in a fatal motorcycle accident in California. Brian Pennings of the California Highway Patrol said Morgan was heading northbound on Pamo Road, 1.3 miles north of Pile Street on a 2012 Yamaha R6 motorcycle.

Pennings report stated Morgan was traveling at an unsafe speed and was unable to negotiate a curve in the roadway, "He was ejected from the vehicle and suffered major injuries," said Pennings. The crash took place at 5:50 p.m. Sunday June 3. Morgan was airlifted by Mercy Air Helicopter to Palomar Medical Center. He succumbed to his injuries and passed away in the operating room at 7:41 p.m. Morgan traffic accident fatality follows the recent car accident that took the life of former Army cornerback 1st Lt. Mario Hill.

Ryan Morgan was a star athlete who captained both the football and track athlete at Ramona High school in California. He ran for 2,734 yards in his three-year varsity football career. At Ramona high school Morgan ran for 1,620 yards and scored 17 touchdowns his senior year. He returned 12 kickoffs for 330 yards. Ryan earned First team All-Valley league honors. Morgan missed five games his junior year with a broken toe but still rushed for 714 yards and scored 14 touchdowns while averaging 7.4 yards a carry. Morgan also excelled at track and field. He was the CIF San Diego Section champion in the 400 meters in 2010. He ran a personal best of 48.13 in the 400 meters and had run a 10.95 100 meter dash. Ryan led Ramona's 1,600 relay to the section title in 2010. In 2009 and 2010, the North County Times named Morgan to its All-North County track all-star team.

Ryan attended the United States Military Academy Prep school in the fall 2010. Morgan played mostly "C" back last year at the prep school but did see some time at cornerback. He was a 5-11, 170 pound player with legit 4.5 speed. Morgan backed up fellow C-back Stephen Fraser at USMAPS and showed in top end speed in a number of games. He scored on a long touchdown run against Stevens Tech. In a game against Nassau Community College's talented defense Morgan nearly took an option pitch the distance. In the blowout win over Kings College JV Morgan scored two touchdowns on fly sweeps to put the contest out of reach. Ryan wasn't very big but had excellent acceleration and could really turn the corner.

After arriving at West Point in 2011 Morgan was converted to wide receiver. The staff felt his speed could stretch the field at wide receiver. Ryan struggled during the plebe year with his grades. West Point offered Ryan the chance to regroup academically and get back on track. Morgan went home to California and was going to attend classes this fall at West Point. During his time home Ryan worked for his father's business he also spent some time at his high school as a volunteer assistant coach.

Ryan Morgan earned his motorcycle license only a few weeks ago. He had purchased the motorcycle on June 2 and crashed the next day while riding with a friend. Ryan Morgan was just 21 years old. He was buried at Miramar National Cemetery in a military service. A packed memorial service was held at his high school on June 9th.

The Ramona community raved about Ryan as a man. Damon Baldwin, athletic director and head football coach at Ramona, said, "The kids all talked about how nice he treated all of them. He treated everyone with so much respect." Ramona assistant coach Jason Matthews said, "The biggest thing about him was that he was humble. He was one of the best players we've ever had—and you would never know it if you talked to him."

Ryan's father Rheynard Morgan spoke of his son, "He was an amazing kid. I'm amazed at how many people he touched. I was so fortunate to be his dad." Ryan is survived by his father; his mother, Julie Cruz-Morgan; his stepmother, Mary Morgan; and his brother, Nathan Morgan, 19.

At ArmySports.com, on behalf of our readers, we send our condolences to Ryan's family, teammates, coaches, classmates and friends.

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