Morgan pays it forward to the frosh (w/video)

Michigan sophomore linebacker Desmond Morgan burst onto the scene with an impressive freshman campaign in 2011. Morgan talks about the 2012 defense's approach, he reflects on life as a freshman, and looks forward to the opportunity against Alabama.

Entering his second camp as a Wolverine, sophomore linebacker Desmond Morgan sees a positive difference in the defense despite losing such strong performers along the defensive line.

"With everyone having the playbook under their belt for a year, going through last fall and the spring and all that extra practice—I mean last year we kind of went in fresh to it but this year I think everyone's playing a little faster and are a little more confident in what they're doing," said Morgan.

"(Instead of) working so much on trying to understand what they should do every play [we're] picking up keys in the offense and tricks of the trade," he continued. "I think that's helping and it seems like everyone's playing faster, I think."

Moving to Ann Arbor in June of 2011, Morgan saw the field very fast and quickly become one of the more consistent performers at outside linebacker. Although last year was great for Morgan personally, he's more proud of who he did it for.

"It was very exciting," said Morgan. "You played for a lot of great seniors and a great team and it was a great experience and a great honor. But that's behind us this year, and if we focus on what happened last year that's not going to help us with anything this year. We're just looking forward now to this season, pushing forward and trying to get better."

Coach Hoke singled out sophomore cornerback Blake Countess during the off-season as someone he would keep a close eye on because, as he notes, the worst thing is a sophomore who has played as a freshmen. Morgan, like Countess, used the off-season to get better as opposed to relaxing.

"You can never become complacent or satisfied with anything you've done," said Morgan. "We're trying to raise the bar everyday and get better and better. Not just me specifically, but as a position I think we work as a unit. And we're a pretty close, tight knit group and so we're trying to improve and push each other everyday."

Reflecting back on his freshmen campaign, Morgan sees the frustration and confusion some current freshmen could be going through and is doing anything he can to help them along for the better of the team.

"Any time you can pass any of the tricks of the trade you have, or answer any of their questions on the playbook or anything like that, you definitely got to do it," said Morgan. "I was in their position last year and I was trying to learn as much as I can from the upper classmen, always drilling them with questions and having them sit down with me to look at the playbook."

"As a freshman everything is kind of a whirlwind," he continued. "You're kind of out there dazed for a little bit trying to figure out everything. But the biggest thing is just working hard and giving your best effort every play, every practice, and I think all of those guys are doing that."

While taking time to prepare some of the freshmen linebackers new to campus, Morgan and the rest of the defense are also in the process of preparing to take on one of the most impressive offensive teams in the country.

"You got to give credit where credit is due," said Morgan. "Alabama is the defending national champions and they have that proven on their resume. So it's a great privilege to play in that game, and we're looking forward to September 1st."

To watch the full video interview with Morgan, click play below.


The Michigan Insider Top Stories

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Although last year was great for Morgan personally, he's more proud of who he did it for. \"It was very exciting,\" said Morgan. \"You played for a lot of great seniors and a great team and it was a great experience and a great honor. But that's behind us this year, and if we focus on what happened last year that's not going to help us with anything this year. We're just looking forward now to this season, pushing forward and trying to get better.\" Coach Hoke singled out sophomore cornerback Blake Countess during the off-season as someone he would keep a close eye on because, as he notes, the worst thing is a sophomore who has played as a freshmen. Morgan, like Countess, used the off-season to get better as opposed to relaxing. \"You can never become complacent or satisfied with anything you've done,\" said Morgan. \"We're trying to raise the bar everyday and get better and better. Not just me specifically, but as a position I think we work as a unit. 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