The Maryland staff dipped back into powerhouse DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) June 11, extending an offer to 2018 outside linebacker/defensive end John Morgan. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound BUCK showed out at a satellite camp in Baltimore, Md., allowing the UMD staff to get a firsthand look at the two-way star.
“The Maryland offer was great. For a guy like me, going to DeMatha, being here in Maryland my whole life, it’s something you dream about,” said Morgan, who also holds Syracuse and Charlotte verbals. “What happened was I was at a 7-on-7 with my team, and then afterwards my dad heard from the Maryland coaches that they wanted me to stop by the school.
“So me and my dad headed over and talked to Coach [Mike] London, Coach Aazaar [Abdul-Rahim] and Coach [D.J.] Durkin, and they told me about the scholarship then. They told me I did a great job at the satellite camp and were really intrigued with how I performed. I actually spoke to Coach [Matt] Barnes after the camp that day and he said I did very well and he loved my enthusiasm, so I knew [the] Terps were pretty interested.”
After hearing about the offer, Morgan and his father spoke to each staffer for a good while. The DeMatha product was particularly taken with Durkin’s pitch.
“Coach Durkin was saying why Maryland would be the best school for me. He really pitched it hard, and I liked that a lot,” Morgan said. “It was like, This is our backyard, you can stay home and you’ll have the whole city’s support, and all your family and friends will see you here. Then [Durkin] was talking about how it’s a top academic university and it’s in the Big Ten, so you’ll be playing against the best teams in the nation.
“And then there’s all the support and connections with Under Armour. There are so many opportunities there outside of football, and for a guy like me, who is academics first, that’s very important.”
Morgan had similar compliments for London and Abdul-Rahim. Evidently the local backer has known those two for years since his father, John Morgan Sr., was a coach at Morgan State and Bowie State.
“My dad is one of the best connects you can have, and he knows pretty much everyone in college football. So with Coach London and Coach Aazaar, we’ve known them for so long, seeing them again was like a reunion in a way,” Morgan said. “The way they greeted us, it was great, like we were part of the family. We didn’t even really talk about football, it was a lot of catching up and just talking. I love those guys.”
The DMV recruit had a chance to tour the campus and learn about the facility upgrades too. He’s been in College Park, Md., before, but hadn’t extensively trekked around the grounds.
“The campus was beautiful and I loved walking around there,” Morgan said. “Just seeing that and the new upgrades, it’s just a great vibe there. They’re doing it up big at Maryland. I was very impressed.”
So was his dad. Morgan said his father spoke highly of UMD and the staff later on that night.
“My dad was ecstatic with the offer and the visit,” Morgan said. “He was smiling the whole time there and we talked about what Coach Durkin had told us. He really liked the pitch and what Maryland is about.”
If that weren’t enough, Morgan’s heard plenty about the hometown school from his teammates heading to UMD next year. He said Tino Ellis, D.J. Turner, Terrance Davis and LoLo Harrison always talk up the Terps.
“Oh definitely,” Morgan said. “All the time they come back to work out, and all the time they tell us about Maryland. They’re always here pushing the Terps. So that’s something I’m taking notice of as well.”
After taking in UMD, Morgan attended a camp at North Carolina June 12. He’ll be at Ohio State’s camp June 16, Maryland’s “Freak Show” camp June 17 and then Syracuse June 18. Later in June, he plans to participate in camps at Penn State and Va Tech.
Morgan said UNC, Michigan and NC State are showing interest and could be offering next. As for Syracuse, his very first offer, Morgan said, “they’ll always have a special place in my heart because they were first.”
“But right now, I really like Maryland,” Morgan said. “It’s early, but I really like what I’m seeing out of them.”