Senior film can do wonders for a prospective student-athlete. There are more stories than we can remember whereby a Cardinal recruit went from "intriguing" to "offer" status. Two of those tales took us to Texas in recent years, with Pannel Egboh and Austin Yancy earning offers during the winters after their respective senior seasons. Two-star recruits with middling offers are not the stuff of fantasy for rabid recruiting followers, yet Yancy started at wide receiver this past weekend in his fourth game as a true freshman. Egboh entered the Stanford starting lineup at defensive end in his fourth game as a redshirt freshman last fall.
Monday night marked what the Cardinal coaches hope will be the next such story. For McKinney (Tex.) High School running back/safety Eddie Morgan, it was a fateful evening enabled by his recent on-field performances.
After a solid junior season in the defensive backfield for the Lions, recording 75 tackles and four interceptions, the 6'0" 185-pound athlete set about learning the running back position. As the top playmaker on the roster for McKinney, Morgan was needed on offense and delivered in his team's 2006 season opener. He ran the ball for 101 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries and ran back a punt for 81 yards and another score.
Morgan carried so few times in McKinney's 32-7 rout not just because of the final margin but also due to hydration issues. The problem plagued him again the next week, carrying just five times for 24 yards in a difficult 35-38 overtime loss. Morgan did manage three catches for 52 yards, including two touchdowns, and a pair of long kickoff returns of 50-plus yards. In week three of his senior season, Morgan was able to play for the first time in the fourth quarter and came through with 28-yard touchdown run to pull away from Richardson High for a 17-7 homecoming victory. On defense, he has 33 tackles.
Morgan and McKinney had a bye on their schedule this past week, which afforded the opportunity to send out some senior film to schools. Stanford then had the chance on Monday to watch his playmaking on offense, defense and special teams. The athleticism on display running back kicks combined with his toughness and hard hitting at safety netted him a quick offer that evening. Air Force had called to offer just minutes earlier, but Stanford was his dream school. He committed to the Cardinal on the spot.
Scout.com hopes to bring some of those video highlights to you soon, to present Morgan's athleticism running with the ball, but his physical style of play against the run reportedly pushed the Card coaches over the top in deciding to offer. Stanford's rush defense has fallen off a cliff this year, ranking dead last in Division I-A football with an allowed average of 312.0 yards per game on the ground. By comparison, the Cardinal yielded 156.0, 143.4 and 137.5 yards per game rushing in 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.
Morgan might fit at several positions in college, but Stanford's needs at safety are clear with seniors filling out all three of their spots this fall. The Cardinal signed no safeties in last year's recruiting class, and just one the year before.
Eddie Morgan is the fifth verbal commitment for Stanford in the 2007 recruiting class and the first from a defensive player. Stay tuned for much more to come on his story.
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