Last month was a positive one in the recruitment of Holland (MI) West Ottawa LB/ATH Desmond Morgan. The 6-1, 215-pounder added offers from Michigan and Northwestern to a list that previously consisted primarily of Mid American Conference schools. Now that his season is behind him he fully focused on recruiting. Though no more offers followed those from the aforementioned Big Ten schools, a few of his other suitors are keeping close watch.
"I stay in contact with Vanderbilt and Cincinnati," said Morgan. "I talk to Boston College a little bit as well. I'm focusing on the upcoming visits right now and taking it from there. Actually, I am attending Northwestern this weekend for an official visit and then the following weekend I am going to Michigan for an official visit for the Big Chill in the Big House."
The visits will likely prove to be crucial elements in Morgan's decision-making process. He's going into them looking to evaluate a few very key elements at each school.
"First and foremost, I just want to get a better feel for the schools," he said. "Northwestern, I didn't really know much about them until I got into contact with them. Then going there for the game against Iowa was the first time I had ever seen the campus or anything like that. So when I go on that (official) visit, I'll definitely be looking to get a better feel for the place and really know what it is all about. Coaches stress that they're going to have me spend a lot of time with the players. Different players' feedback on what it is like to be there and really understand what it is like to be a football player at Northwestern."
"Going to Michigan, it's the same exact thing. I've been to a few more of their games just because I grew up in Michigan and they were on the east side of the state. I'll be looking at the same thing… just find out a little more academically and kind of get that same feeling… what the players are saying about the program. I want to know what it is like to be part of Michigan football. I want to know what the feeling is at both places to be a part of that family."
Both the Wolverines and Wildcats are doing their best to give Morgan an idea of what that feeling is long before he sets foot on either of their campuses.
"Michigan stopped by today (Tuesday)," reported Morgan Tuesday evening. "It was Coach Frey. I talked to Northwestern coach a little bit earlier and he told me that Coach McPherson would be by sometime this week before I leave on Friday to go down there. No one else has been by except for Michigan coaches stopped by today."
Many recruiting observers believe that all of Morgan's suitors are chasing the Wolverines in the race for his services. For his part, however, the versatile youngster insists he is not a lock for the Maize & Blue. Furthermore, another commonly misconception out there is that he is named after 1991 Heisman trophy winner Desmond Howard.
"No that's not true," Morgan said laughingly. "A lot of people ask me that, but it is actually just kind of a coincidence. My parents got that name picked out before any of that happened and coincidentally it was the same year. A lot of people brought that up (laughter), but no I was not named after him."
As much fun as the process has been, Morgan is looking forward to seeing his recruitment reach its conclusion.
"I'm not looking to prolong it that much longer," he said. "I'm taking a visit to Northwestern this weekend and then the Michigan visit the following weekend. After taking both those visits I'll be able to nail things down and make a decision from there probably."