Top NC Athlete Names Early Favorite

Garner (NC) standout athlete Tony Morgan is one of the top overall prospects in the talent rich state of North Carolina for the class of 2008, and while several major programs are expressing strong interest in the versatile playmaker, one team has already jumped to the top of his list. Read inside for full story.

The 6'0, 190 pound Morgan, who could play either running back or cornerback on the college level, talked about his breakout junior season and discussed what his increased role will be this fall.

"I played defense for the first time last year. My sophomore year they had me at running back, but they moved me to cornerback my junior season," said Morgan. "I had about 83 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 5 tackles for loss on defense. I played mostly defense last year, but I'll probably be playing on both sides of the ball next year. I'll probably play running back and corner."

When asked if he prefers playing on one side of the ball over the other, Morgan said that he enjoys making plays on both sides of the field.

"It's all general to me. Growing up I always played running back, and that was my favorite position, but playing corner for the first time as a junior has really gotten me. I really turned out to like defense a lot. I really like both"

Morgan, who said he idolized running back Priest Holmes growing up and wears #31 as a result, shared what strengths he brings to the football field.

"I would say I'm very athletic. I can play just about anything you put me at. I can play running back, corner, kickoff return, kickoff team, and I just play all around the field. My coach timed me at school running a 4.3 so I‘m very fast too. I‘m explosive. I just love to play."

Combined with fellow Garner star Reggie Bowens, Morgan is looking forward to making a run at the state championship in his senior season.

"Me and Reggie (Bowens) are pretty tight, and we know we've got to be the leaders of this football team. We're going to try to make it to the state championship. We were one game shy last year, so hopefully me and Reggie can get us over that hump and get us there. We‘re going to do everything we can to get there."

On the recruiting front, interest is beginning to heat up for the Tar Heel State standout.

"It's going well. I've got a lot of colleges sending me heavy mail right now and sending me text messages everyday. It's coming hard now. I've got offers from South Carolina and North Carolina right now."

According to Morgan, one team has already jumped out in front in the race for his services.

"Probably South Carolina stands out right now. I know they have a good coach in Steve Spurrier. He knows what he's doing, and they're trying to build a great program. He said they're looking for the best players out there, and they told me I was one of them. Chris Culliver's already going down there, and I already know he's good. He was a 5-star player, and he helped us last year. It would probably feel good playing with a fellow teammate in college who is already great down there."

Morgan said that Culliver, who was one of the jewels of South Carolina's 2007 recruiting class, has told him a lot about what USC has to offer and how they handle the recruiting process.

"Chris told me that South Carolina, whatever they recruit you as, they're going to stick with it. They're not going to tell you one thing, and then when you get down there, do something else. They're going to be straight up with you and tell you if you're going to play as a freshman or if you‘re going to redshirt. They're going to be honest and straight forward with you, and they're going to let you know that they're real strong on the academics. They want people down there who can do well in the classroom as well as on the field too."

Morgan will join several of the other top prospects around the southeast this weekend in Columbia, as he plans to attend South Carolina's junior day.

"I'll be down there this weekend. I'm very excited. I've never been to South Carolina, so this will probably be a pretty fun trip for me. I'll get to see the campus and everything, meet all the coaches, and see all the other athletes that are going to be down there. It's going to be a pretty fun trip."

Morgan's teammate Reggie Bowens will make the trip with him to USC this weekend, and according to Morgan, he plans to talk with Bowens about the possibility of them playing together on the next level as well.

"We have thought about it, but we need to talk about it more. I could see us playing college ball together again. He's a great player, and I'd love playing with him again at the next level. We just haven‘t talked about it much yet."

The North Carolina speedster, who is being recruiting by Coach Brad Lawing for the Gamecocks, shared what factors are important to him when looking at a school.

"Academics are number one. I know the academics are something serious, so I want to go to a school that can give me a better education. I want to play for good coaches. I want to know all my coaches, not just as a coach, but as a friend and a father figure. I want to know how the atmosphere is around there, and I want to play in a good atmosphere for me."

Morgan closed by saying that fans should not expect a decision from him anytime soon, as he plans to take his time and enjoy the recruiting process.

"I think I'm going to wait it out throughout my senior year, because I've still got a whole other year to play football, and I'm going to see if I can get any more offers this year. I'm going to wait it out and see what happens. My goal is really to just get scholarships. I don‘t really have a dream school I want to go to. I just want to enjoy it."

Stay tuned to for all the latest on this elite Tar Heel state prospect.

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