It’s still early in the recruiting process for Dematha (Md.) 2018 defensive end John Morgan. And while he’s certainly open, he has five schools standing out and one standing out most within that group.
On Nov. 26, Morgan made the trek to Virginia Tech for its win over in-state rival Virginia. And his first time in Blacksburg appears to have made a big impression.
“I figured it would be a good game because it was a rivalry game,” Morgan said. “It was good hospitality, all the fans. One of the best parts was one fan made a poster with my face on it and telling me to come to Hokie nation. I was excited to see the coaches and players win and have the trophy presented to them. It was a great experience.”
One draw to the Hokies has been another former Dematha Stag, junior wide receiver Cameron Phillips. There’s an age-difference, but Morgan grew up studying and working with Phillips before he headed to Virginia Tech.
“Before my ninth grade year, me and Cam worked out together in the mornings,” Morgan said. “I caught up with him after the game. I saw him later in the night when they went out and celebrated. He said mostly they recruit the DMV hard. They know there’s a lot of talent in the DMV and he said Coach (Holmon) Wiggins and Bud (Foster) are gonna be recruiting me and my school hard.”
Wiggins, Morgan’s primary recruiter, has also made an impression. Morgan said their relationship continues to improve.
“Coach Wiggins is probably one of the top recruiters talking to me,” he said. “We’ve been keeping in touch all season. He’s been telling me what the plan is at Virginia Tech, what I could do to contribute. They wanna build my career to give me a chance to make it to the league. He gives me a game-plan for if I take my talents to Blacksburg.”
Until now, Morgan had kept his options wide open. But now, he’s admitted he has five schools he favors a bit more than his other options.
“My dad said not to put out a top five, but since the season is over, I guess I can lay out a top five,” Morgan said. “Virginia Tech is definitely in there. Coach Fuente, what he’s been able to accomplish in his first year, getting to the ACC championship game, it’s probably one of the best things I ever saw in a first-year head coach. That’s probably my number one choice right now.”
The other schools in Morgan’s top group are Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers and Syracuse. But there’s still one aspect that will take precedence with any school he looks at.
“The biggest thing I would say is when I look at schools, I want a place I can develop as a young man, to give me a chance to do something besides football,” Morgan said. “I told my dad I wanted to pursue physical therapy. I’ve been looking at that major, what internships I can enroll in if I don’t make it to the NFDL. The football aspect does its own thing.
“At Virginia Tech, I talked to their student advisor. With Pittsburgh, being right next to a big hospital in the city, it’s a prominent PT school. Penn State has good a good PT program. At least three student trainers are majoring in that and I talked to them. Syracuse, their doctors told me about physical therapy. They all told me what I wanted to hear. I keep giving them more questions to answer.”
Morgan said he has no visits planned now, but will be at a number of junior days after the first of the year.