More Comfortable

Syracuse defensive back Wayne Morgan has switched between multiple positions over the last couple of years. This season, he has a more defined role and is looking for a breakout season.

Wayne Morgan was a big recruiting win for Syracuse out of New York City in the 2012 class. During his first two seasons at the college level, Morgan was used a reserve and switched between safety and corner. Entering his junior year, the former Erasmus High standout feels he has a more defined role within the defensive unit.

”I’m actually playing corner,” Morgan said. “That’s going to be my primary role. I’ve gotten more comfortable with the position. I know the game plan so I’m looking forward to having a big year this year. I’m much more comfortable with my position. With the system and everything.

”I’m just looking forward to getting out there and showing the world what I can do. Over the spring, coach Shafe put more time and effort in with the corners. He showed us a little technique with our press coverage. It’s been one of the best things that’s worked out for us as far as man to man on the line of scrimmage. As of now, we’ve mastered the technique.”

Each of the corners has worked in the slot as well as on the outside. Right now, Morgan believes his contributions will be primarily covering the receivers near the boundary.

”I’m becoming more on the outside this year,” Morgan said. “Who plays the slot depends. Most like it’ll be Darius (Kelly) sometimes. But depending on what we have going during the week and in the game plan, it could be any of us. So you never know.

”We’re all cool with each other. Brandon is like my brother. I grew up with him since we were like eight years old. It’s a competitive battle. It’s not like we all hate each other or anything. We’re all brothers. We push each other to be better.”

Morgan returns to Syracuse as one of three corners with significant playing experience. He believes the cornerbacks are poised for a big season.

”Actually we’re looking pretty good,” Morgan said. “We’ve gotten very comfortable with all of the plays. We have a lot of veteran guys coming back so we’re all familiar with the game plan. Everything’s running smooth right now. We’re looking real good with me, Brandon (Reddish) and Julian Whigham. We’re familiar with the game plan as I said before.

”We’ve gotten plenty of reps. The spring helped us a lot because we got a lot of reps. We’re very comfortable with the game plan and we’re all ready to go. Before we were a little shaky but now we know what we’re doing. We have confidence and we saw some action last year so we know what we have to do.”

Also looking to contribute are freshmen cornerbacks Juwan Dowels, Antwan Cordy and Cordell Hudson. As one of the veterans in the secondary, Morgan has spent time trying to get them up to speed.

”I help all of them,” he said. “Juwan, Cordy, Cordell. I try to just touch base with them whenever I can and drop some knowledge on them. When I came in, I had guys like Shamarko (Thomas) show me the ropes. So I’m trying to do the same with them.”

The start of the season is right around the corner. In one week, the Orange will kick off against the Villanova Wildcats. Morgan says he and the rest of the group is chomping at the bits to get out onto the Carrier Dome field in front of the home crowd.

”My expectations is just to make plays,” Morgan said. “Make big plays. Then we have to stop big plays. Don’t allow any big plays. We want to be the ones that make the plays. I’m ready to play right now. I couldn’t be more excited for the game.

”(Eight wins), that’s the goal. But nobody likes losing. So I’m not going to say (undefeated). We’re just going to stay focused and take it one game at a time.”

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