2008 Intro: Tony Morgan

GARNER, N.C. --- Not only was Tony Morgan verbally offered a scholarship by North Carolina over the weekend, the Tar Heels' coaching staff also attempted to get a verbal commitment out of the 6-foot-1, 190-pound athlete before he exited the campus.

"We were sitting down talking and [defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano] was like ‘How do you feel about the school?' I told him ‘It's a good school, and it's an in-state college, it's close to home, and I feel real comfortable here.' And he said ‘Why don't we get you [committed] right now?'"

Morgan's not ready to commit, however, as he said he's still in the early stages of learning what each school of interest has to offer. Morgan, who was accompanied by his Garner (N.C.) teammate Reggie Bowens, has also been offered by South Carolina, and is fielding early interest from Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Virginia.

Both the Gamecocks and Buckeyes have invited Morgan to their junior days. He plans to accept USC's invitation, but isn't sure a trip to Columbus is feasible given its distance. Morgan also hopes to squeeze in an unofficial visit to Virginia during the spring.

Over the summer, Morgan is planning on attending camps at both South Carolina and East Carolina.

Heading into more unofficial trips, Morgan has a soft list of favorites.

"If I had to choose a top five favorites it would probably be like South Carolina, Ohio State, Notre Dame, [North] Carolina, and probably ECU," said Morgan. "Carolina and ECU and South Carolina are close to home. Distance is a major factor to me."

While academics and coaching staff are important to Morgan, he also is entertaining the idea of playing with a former teammate.

"Chris Culliver, he's down there at South Carolina," said Morgan. "Me and Chris have a great relationship. Knowing another player down there already is a big factor, too."

Additionally, Morgan said he wouldn't mind being a part of an upcoming program.

"I know [the Tar Heels] are rebuilding and they're trying to get some of the top prospects in North Carolina," said Morgan. "As [Coach Pagano] told me, I'm one of the top prospects in North Carolina. They're trying to rebuild and I can see myself being apart of that rebuilding process."

Regardless, Morgan isn't anywhere close to making a verbal commitment.

"I'm probably going to try to wait it out, because I still have another year to play football," said Morgan. "I want to see if I get any offers, I'll try to sweat it out. Then I'll try to eliminate which colleges I don't want to go to. But I'm going to wait it out."

Morgan is being recruited as both a defensive back and running back. Both USC and UNC didn't inform him which position they offered him at.

Garner (N.C.) head coach Nelson Smith sees Morgan excelling as a cornerback at the next level.

"He's an excellent athlete," said Morgan. "For his first year playing cornerback from running back, he really came around and did a good job for us. He's a tremendous athlete with great speed. His intensity as far as contact came on late in the season – especially in the playoffs – he started to throwing his body for us. He became a really good defensive player.

"Also, he can run back kicks and punts. He ran a kick back for us last year."

Preferably, Morgan would like to stick to the secondary.

"This [past] year was my first year playing defensive back, and I really liked it," said Morgan. "I've been a running back all of my life, but playing defense has grown on me."

After seeing the majority of his team on defense last fall, Morgan will pull double duty during his senior football season playing both running back and defensive back.

As a junior, Morgan collected 83 tackles including five for a loss and three interceptions. In limited reps, he rushed for 800 yards.

Tony Morgan Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories