Down The Road

As D.J. Morgan sits and watches the track and field hurdle events at the summer Olympics, he can't help but think that could be him down the road.

An NFL preseason game might spark the same interest. Down the road, that could be him too.

Sometime in the next two years, D.J. Morgan hopes he can decide which sport he wants to pursue full-time in college. There certainly won't be a lack of scholarship offers.

"I don't know, I'm going to go with which ever one can take me to the next level, and I'm going to just ride with it," Morgan explained.

Selected as California's State Sophomore of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Morgan ran for 1,173 yards and 10 touchdowns, helping Taft High to an 8-4 record. He also caught 19 passes for 230 yards and three more scores. Defensively, he had two interceptions from his starting cornerback spot.

On the track, Morgan finished second at the state meet in the 110-high hurdles, with a time of 14.19 seconds. In June, Morgan won both the 110 and 400-meter hurdles events at the U.S. Track and Field Youth Outdoor Championships in Charlotte, N.C.

"When it's football season, I just do all football," Morgan said. "Then I rest for about a month, and then I just start doing track."

Morgan feels he'd be better at one, if he zeroed in on just one sport. But he's not ready to do that.

Notre Dame is one of the many college football programs that has Morgan on its radar.

"I don't really know much about them," Morgan said. "I know they have good academics."

"Notre Dame is a school we could not, not be interested in," Dale Morgan, D.J.'s father and hurdles coach stated.

"I'm big on the academic side. That's what I'm telling him. We're really going to consider picking a school that's going to help us in 50 years and not make a bunch of money in five years. We'll definitely have an interest in Notre Dame."

So far, the most interest is coming from the three programs that have offered.

Former Taft coach Troy Starr left the school after Morgan's freshman year to take the Director of Football Operations job at Florida. While he was working with Urban Meyer, he got in touch with his old running back.

"I was talking to him on the phone," Morgan said of Starr. Starr has since returned to California to coach Helix High. "Then Urban Meyer got on the phone and told me. He said we're your first scholarship."

Jim Harbaugh and Stanford was next, offering Morgan after his sophomore season.

"He came to the school and told me I was his second offer. He said that I bring it to the field every time."

Pete Carroll and his offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian verbally offered Morgan at a one-day camp at USC.

"They said you could be the future at USC, we want you to play here," Morgan recapped. USC is the only campus Morgan said he has really gotten a chance to visit.

As of right now, UCLA is showing Morgan the most interest for his track skills. Recruiting interest doesn't pick up in track as fast as it does with football.

Morgan was named the MVP at the National Underclassmen Combine, clocking 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash. His vertical jump is 37.5 inches, his shuttle is 4.21 seconds, and his broad jump is 9-feet, 7-inches.

He has clocked a 14.0 seconds in the high hurdles, and a 52.4 in the 400 hurdles. Both times are electronic for Morgan. He says it's too early to say when he's going to make a college decision or name any favorites.

"I'll probably decide on one sport," Morgan said.

Morgan wasn't sure of his GPA, but said it's over a 2.5. Top Stories