UMD's Academics, Program Intrigue Morgenstern

St. Luke’s (New Canaan, Conn.) athlete Jacob Morgenstern certainly places plenty of value on academics, which is why the honors society student is primarily focused on educationally-renowned universities.

St. Luke’s (New Canaan, Conn.) athlete Jacob Morgenstern certainly places plenty of value on academics, which is why the honors society student is primarily focused on educationally-renowned universities. Schools such as Boston College, Vanderbilt, Syracuse, Wisconsin and those throughout the Ivy League have offered the versatile 6-foot-3, 210-pounder, and on March 31, another solid academic school joined the fray.

Maryland actually just offered me, and I was extremely humbled by it,” said Morgenstern, whose complete suitor list includes Pittsburgh, Clemson, Uconn, Buffalo, Syracuse, BC, UMD, Mississippi State, Temple, Wisconsin and Vandy, among others. “It was an amazing feeling to get an offer from a school that Forbes has ranked as one of the top academic schools in the country. In addition, they play in one of the most competitive conferences in college football, the Big Ten, so it’s a great brand of football too. I was truly honored and humbled that Coach [Keith] Dudzinski and Maryland wanted to offer me.”

Morgenstern said he and Dudzinski have been in contact via social media on a regular basis, the area recruiter urging the prospect to visit College Park, Md. Which Morgenstern had planned to do at some point, until baseball season interrupted his schedule.

“Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get down to Maryland yet, but I’m hoping once the summer hits and I’m not busy with baseball I can visit for a camp or something,” Morgenstern said. “I really want to get down there and see what the school is like, because I’ve heard great things. Like I said, to have a chance to play football at a high level and for it to be an incredible academic school, that’s what I’m looking for in a college. So, yes, Maryland does interest me a good deal.”

In the meantime, the St. Luke’s prospect said Dudzinski should be through his school this spring during the evaluation period. Morgenstern said he’s looking forward to meeting the Terps’ defensive coordinator in person and continuing to establish a relationship with him.

“I really like Coach Dudzinski and what he’s been telling me about Maryland,” Morgenstern said. “Plus I have family down in Maryland; my cousin lives in Frederick. So I’m trying to set something up where I can do down and visit him and then check out Maryland while I’m in town.”

Morgenstern went on to say that UMD is recruiting him as an athlete, though more than likely he’ll be slotted for outside linebacker. He said Dudzinski initially told him backer would be the spot, but “then he did a 180 on me and said I could play anywhere.”

So far Morgenstern has been able to fit visits to Boston College, UPenn and Yale into his busy schedule. Since he’s currently playing baseball, he doesn’t believe he’ll be able to venture out too far this April, though trips to Uconn, Syracuse, possibly Pitt and a return to BC are in the works. This summer he’s planning to visit Vanderbilt, Duke, Maryland and Wisconsin, among others.

“Hopefully I can get out to see more schools soon,” Morgenstern said. “My family and I are sitting down now to try and figure things out so I can see as many schools as possible.”

Since he has been unable to trek to many different locales, Morgenstern was uncomfortable listing any current leaders or favorites. But he did suggest that BC has caught his eye early, while he’s especially intrigued by Duke and Vanderbilt given the academic programs at each.

“BC has my attention a little more since I’ve been able to visit there, and just knowing what I know about Duke and Vanderbilt, they’re incredible schools,” Morgenstern said. “Duke is terrific and it’s an up-and-coming program in the ACC, so I’d like to check them out, and Vanderbilt, I definitely want to get down there this summer.

“But because I haven’t met too many coaches yet and haven’t seen many schools, I don’t really want to put any leaders out there right now.”

Morgenstern originally planned to wait until after his senior season to commit, but he’s started to rethink matters of late.

“You know, it’s crazy with this recruiting process. Spots fill up, scholarships are taken and all of a sudden you don’t have a spot,” Morgenstern said. “You really have to stay on top of these college coaches to know where you’re at. So while I’d like to wait to make my decision, the reality is I might have to commit earlier.”

The St. Luke’s prospect is coming off a season where he recorded 22 catches for 682 yards and 10 touchdowns as a receiver; had 32 carries for 382 yards and five scores as a running back; and racked up 65 tackles and a sack as a safety/linebacker hybrid. He also returned one punt for a touchdown.

“When I was first being recruited most coaches were saying outside linebacker would be my position, but now I’m getting looks at tight end, receiver, safety, all over,” Morgenstern said. “But, honestly, the position doesn’t matter to me. As long as I can make an impact on the program, I’ll play anywhere.”

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