Commodores lose a defensive end for 2003

HOOVER, Ala.-- Vanderbilt sophomore defensive end Antoine Morgan will be academically ineligible for the 2003 season and may not be allowed to return to school this fall, head coach Bobby Johnson confirmed Tuesday at SEC Media Days. "We're hopeful that he will be in school," said Johnson.

HOOVER, Ala.-- Vanderbilt sophomore defensive end Antoine Morgan will be academically ineligible for the 2003 season and may not be allowed to return to school this fall, head coach Bobby Johnson confirmed Tuesday at SEC Media Days.

Morgan, a 6-5, 230-pound sophomore from Bennettsville, S.C., played in a number of games late in the 2002 season as a backup defensive end. He had performed well in spring practice and was expected to compete with sophomore Chris Booker (6-4, 245) for a starting position on the 2003 Commodore defensive line.

"Antoine is not going to be eligible," Johnson told VandyMania Tuesday. "Right now we're just trying to determine if he's going to be in school. We're hopeful that he will be in school.

"Antoine had some personal problems, and to tell you the truth didn't do a very good job of handling that and the academics in the spring. He did not pass the number of hours necessary to be eligible, no matter what he did in summer school.

"He has done a really good job in summer school. I hope he's going to be able to stay in school."

Since Morgan played as a true freshman, the 2003 season can count as his redshirt year if he returns, leaving him three more years to play.

"But that's going to hurt our depth at defensive end," said Johnson. "Hopefully Robert Dinwiddie (6-5, 280 junior) is going to be ready to go. Richard Freeman (6-5, 240 redshirt freshman) is going to have to step in there. Greg Jacobs (6-3, 255) is a true freshman who might have to come in here and play.

"It's a big loss for us. It just goes to show you how important it is that those guys live and drink academics just the way they do football."

Another defensive line recruit from 2002, Ray Brown, is not on the fall roster. Brown, a 6-2, 270-pound defensive tackle from Jackson, N.J., was a member of the team in 2002. He transferred to a junior college at the end of fall semester and did not participate in spring drills. His academic status is unknown.


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