UW Looking to Fill Fullback Void

After two seasons of shifting personnel to the fullback position, the Wisconsin coaching staff seems adamant about bringing a natural fullback into the 2011 recruiting class. Might West Ottawa (Mich.) High's Desmond Morgan be that player?

MADISON - The position of fullback is becoming a lost art in the world of college football with spread offenses becoming the new fad and power running becoming a thing of the past. For schools that still employ the relic position, recruiting high school athletes that are natural fullbacks are rare and, more often than not, highly coveted.

Take Wisconsin for instance. Once the Badgers lost Chris Pressley, Wisconsin shifted converted tight end Mickey Turner into the position. Now that Turner's gone, the position is squarely up for grades. If the Badgers had Desmond Morgan on their roster, however, Wisconsin wouldn't have to worry.

While many schools are looking at the Holland (Mich.) West Ottawa High athlete as a linebacker, especially after Morgan earned honorable mention All-State honors after recording 120 tackles his junior season, Wisconsin is one of the hand full of schools that have been impressed with the 6-foot-1 and 225-pound Morgan, who also served as the team's lead blocker.

"They said they liked even better was my fullback skills," Morgan told Badger Nation. "The coaches said they are looking to offer a true fullback because they haven't had that in a couple of years and they have been moving guys (to play fullback) from different positions. Guys that have played linebacker or tight end they've had to put there. They were looking at that and I am hoping we can get something done there."

Morgan took the first step in earning an offer when he visited the Madison campus to meet with recruiting contact DelVaughn Alexander, meet with the other coaches and to take in the Badgers' spring game. Interest from the Badgers hasn't waned since the spring game, as Morgan continues to receiver letters and emails from Alexander.

"I keep in contact regularly with Coach Alexander and I really enjoy it," Morgan said. "I enjoy him as a coach. When I went over there, I got to sit down in his office and talk with him for quite awhile. He seems like a very nice guy and a guy you can build a relationship with."

But while most kids come to camp with the hope of earning a scholarship offer, Morgan finds himself in a tough situation. According to Alexander, an impressive camp performance won't guarantee a UW offer, giving further evidence that fullback is an unique position on and off the field.

"With the fullback position, you can show a lot in a camp unless you put on the pads and start hitting somebody," Morgan said. "They said it will be mostly judged off the film and they said they would make a decision."

While Morgan is in a wait-and-see mode with the Badgers, he's comfortable with the fact that he has already grabbed scholarship offers from Akron and Buffalo. After he participated at the Midwest Elite 7-on-7 Camp in Ypsilanti (Mich.), Morgan has fielded calls from Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Michigan State, Toledo and Western Michigan about possibly playing linebacker.

"It feels good, knowing now that I can play at the MAC level," Morgan said. "I am going to be going into camps here once summer starts, heading to some of the MAC camps, to see where the interest is. Most schools have talked about linebacker. I'd be happy playing fullback or linebacker at the next level."

While pleased with the interest from the Mid-American Conference, Morgan was quite to point out that he has his sights set on the BCS conference, which is the main reason Morgan is planning on camping at Boston College, Illinois, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin in the months to come.

If Morgan becomes a college fullback, it might mean he could be the poster child in saving a vanishing breed from extinction.

"I feel wherever I go in college, I am going to play the position the coach wants me to play and I am going to get better at that position," Morgan said. "I played fullback the last year of high school and I blocked for pretty much the whole team. Coming from the defensive side of the ball, you definitely have an advantage for knowing where to put your head to hit someone and knowing how to deliver the blow. It's the same thing when you deliver a block, and something I would love the chance to do."

Junior Film


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\r\n\r\n
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Take Wisconsin for instance. Once the Badgers lost Chris Pressley, Wisconsin shifted converted tight end Mickey Turner into the position. Now that Turner's gone, the position is squarely up for grades. If the Badgers had Desmond Morgan on their roster, however, Wisconsin wouldn't have to worry.

While many schools are looking at the Holland (Mich.) West Ottawa High athlete as a linebacker, especially after Morgan earned honorable mention All-State honors after recording 120 tackles his junior season, Wisconsin is one of the hand full of schools that have been impressed with the 6-foot-1 and 225-pound Morgan, who also served as the team's lead blocker.

\"They said they liked even better was my fullback skills,\" Morgan told Badger Nation. \"The coaches said they are looking to offer a true fullback because they haven't had that in a couple of years and they have been moving guys (to play fullback) from different positions. Guys that have played linebacker or tight end they've had to put there. They were looking at that and I am hoping we can get something done there.\"

Morgan took the first step in earning an offer when he visited the Madison campus to meet with recruiting contact DelVaughn Alexander, meet with the other coaches and to take in the Badgers' spring game. Interest from the Badgers hasn't waned since the spring game, as Morgan continues to receiver letters and emails from Alexander.

\"I keep in contact regularly with Coach Alexander and I really enjoy it,\" Morgan said. \"I enjoy him as a coach. When I went over there, I got to sit down in his office and talk with him for quite awhile. He seems like a very nice guy and a guy you can build a relationship with.\"

But while most kids come to camp with the hope of earning a scholarship offer, Morgan finds himself in a tough situation. According to Alexander, an impressive camp performance won't guarantee a UW offer, giving further evidence that fullback is an unique position on and off the field.

\"With the fullback position, you can show a lot in a camp unless you put on the pads and start hitting somebody,\" Morgan said. \"They said it will be mostly judged off the film and they said they would make a decision.\"

While Morgan is in a wait-and-see mode with the Badgers, he's comfortable with the fact that he has already grabbed scholarship offers from Akron and Buffalo. After he participated at the Midwest Elite 7-on-7 Camp in Ypsilanti (Mich.), Morgan has fielded calls from Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Michigan State, Toledo and Western Michigan about possibly playing linebacker.

\"It feels good, knowing now that I can play at the MAC level,\" Morgan said. \"I am going to be going into camps here once summer starts, heading to some of the MAC camps, to see where the interest is. Most schools have talked about linebacker. I'd be happy playing fullback or linebacker at the next level.\"

While pleased with the interest from the Mid-American Conference, Morgan was quite to point out that he has his sights set on the BCS conference, which is the main reason Morgan is planning on camping at Boston College, Illinois, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin in the months to come.

If Morgan becomes a college fullback, it might mean he could be the poster child in saving a vanishing breed from extinction.

\"I feel wherever I go in college, I am going to play the position the coach wants me to play and I am going to get better at that position,\" Morgan said. \"I played fullback the last year of high school and I blocked for pretty much the whole team. Coming from the defensive side of the ball, you definitely have an advantage for knowing where to put your head to hit someone and knowing how to deliver the blow. It's the same thing when you deliver a block, and something I would love the chance to do.\"

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