DaJuan Morgan (S)
DaJuan Morgan seems to be following the same path to the National Football League as former Wolfpack standout, and present Arizona Cardinal All-Pro safety Adrian Wilson. Both were standouts on special teams earlier in their college careers before seeing time at safety. Morgan, a junior, hopes that his professional career can as rewarding as Wilson's.
Morgan nearly saw his college career end before it began. He missed his entire senior season in high school after he dislocated his hip in a car accident. When he arrived at North Carolina State as a split end in 2004, he appeared in two games before the coaching staff shut him down due to continued problems with his hip.
The extra year away from the game proved to be the best medicine for what ailed Morgan. He returned to the playing field in 2005, but made his mark as the leader of the squad's special-teams unit. He used his excellent leaping ability to go on to block two punts during his career.
Prior to sitting out his senior campaign at Suncoast High School, Morgan earned All-Region honors at wide receiver and was the team MVP as a junior. He totaled 2,760 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns for his career, and passed for 1,100 yards and 13 scores, adding 600 yards and seven touchdowns rushing.
As a defensive back, Morgan recorded 67 tackles with two sacks and three interceptions. He returned five kicks for touchdowns as a sophomore. He also ran track all four seasons and played baseball two seasons. He won the Class 2-A state title in the 400 meters his senior season and was second in his sophomore campaign.
Morgan rejected scholarship offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma and Florida to enroll at North Carolina State in 2004. He appeared in the Richmond game at split end, catching one pass for six yards and competed on special teams vs. Ohio State before his hip soreness kept him on the sidelines for the rest of the schedule. To help improve his recovery, the coaching staff allowed him to compete on the school's track and field team after the 2004 gridiron season.
Morgan appeared in 12 games as a reserve at both free safety and rover in 2005. He led the team's substitutes with 46 tackles (33 solo), including 2.5 stops for losses and a pressure. He had switched jersey numbers prior to the season from No. 34 to No. 7. He had a pair of pass deflections and an interception, adding 43 yards on two carries and had a blocked punt for a 12-yard return.
As a redshirt sophomore, Morgan ranked fourth on the team with 82 tackles (53 solo), including one for a loss, despite starting just one game at free safety. He was credited with two pressures, a forced fumble and seven pass breakups. He also recovered a blocked punt and had two interceptions.
Morgan received All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team honors in 2007. He started 11 of 12 games, coming off the bench vs. Boston College, as he lined up strong safety in five games and spent the rest of the year at free safety. He posted a team-high 97 tackles (73 solo) with two stops behind the line of scrimmage. He broke up six passes and intercepted three others, playing alongside his brother, DeAndre, who started for the Wolfpack at cornerback.
Attended Suncoast (Riviera Beach, Fla.) High School, earning All-Region honors at wide receiver and was the team MVP as a junior...Totaled 2,760 receiving yards and 27 touch-downs for his career, as he also passed for 1,100 yards and 13 scores, adding 600 yards and seven touchdowns rushing...As a defensive back, Morgan recorded 67 tackles with two sacks and three interceptions...Returned five kicks for touchdowns during his sophomore season...Also ran track all four seasons and played baseball two seasons...Won the Class 2-A state title in the 400 meters his senior season and was second in his sophomore campaign.
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Positives: Has a lean frame with good body structure, long limbs, solid thighs and calves and room to carry at least another 15 pounds of bulk...Versatile athlete who has experience at rover, free and strong safety...Has adequate quickness and balance closing on plays in front of him...Long strider who might be slow-footed coming out of his backpedal, but does a good job of keeping the action in front of him...When he gets physical on the field, he has the ability to dominate (when he gets soft, he plays poorly)...Lacks consistency, but flies to the ball and sacrifices his body when he sees the play develop...Handles the switch-off well in the zone, but is prone to biting on play-action...Long strider, but has a solid short-area burst...Shows good body mechanics working down the line and when he stays low in his pads, he has good success slipping past blocks...Will trap the ball and lacks natural hands, but uses his leaping ability and long arms efficiently to reach around and deflect the pass away from the receiver (his timing and leaping ability are also an advantage as a kick blocker)...More of a collision-type tackler than one who will wrap up with consistency, but has the hand strength to contain the ballcarrier until help arrives...Shows functional range in the short area of the zone and has enough foot speed to chase down plays in front of him...Can stall the underneath passing game when he uses his hands properly to press or redirect...Gets down the field quickly and is very effective at breaking up the wedge on the special-teams coverage units...Better playing vs. the ball in the zone than in man coverage (marginal hip snap)...High tackler in the open, but is a low striker in the alley...Showed improvement as a junior when using his arms with force to jam and redirect the tight ends at the line...Springs into his hits and shows good balance and body control combating for the ball in a crowd...Does a good job reacting to screens and has the functional speed to mirror underneath receivers...When he keeps his pads down, there is no hitch in his turn out of his backpedal (too often gets high in his stance, though).
Negatives: Has played a variety of positions in the secondary, but never the same for an entire season...Has good timed speed, but looks sluggish in his turn and recovery burst coming out of his backpedal...Has good field vision, but can be fooled by pump fakes and play-action...Perhaps due to his hip dislocation in high school, does not show the loose hips or suddenness to change direction and get back on the receiver when the opponent gets behind him (best making plays in front of him)...Gets too confident in his athletic ability to make the play and will revert to diving or taking a side rather than facing up to wrap and secure as a tackler...Maintains better position on receivers in front of him than when they get behind... Needs to show more urgency closing on running plays along the perimeter and gets washed out often by bigger blockers, as he tends to get too high in his stance, leaving his chest exposed for the opponent to lock on, jerk and pull him to the ground...Must get more aggressive with his hands in attempts to reroute tight ends and slot receivers...Needs to mature on the field, as he can be taken out of his element after a bad play and does too much talking without backing up his boasts (seems enamored by his athletic ability and is too outspoken, drawing a fair amount of penalties for unsportsmanlike play)...Plays too much with reckless abandon and gambles more often than he should...Needs to time his leaps and extend for the ball at its high point better and while he has made six interceptions in his career, he lacks natural hands and traps the ball too often.
Compares To: BRODNEY POOL-Cleveland...There is no questioning Morgan's athletic ability, but due to a lack of experience at one position and an adequate work ethic, he seems to feel that he is a "natural" at the position and doesn't need to work at it. He gets caught peeking into the backfield often and lacks the recovery burst needed after receivers get behind him. He will probably be used as a free safety at the next level due to a lack of bulk, but his timed speed doesn't always translate to the field. Like Pool, he lacks a great feel for the ball in flight and does not have the natural hands. He will be drafted earlier than some expect because of his athleticism. He would have benefited from another year of college football.
2003: Sat out his high school senior year after dislocating his hip in a car accident.
2004: Missed the team's final 10 games, seeing action vs. only Richmond (9/04) and Ohio State (9/18) before being sidelined by lingering problems from his previous hip dislocation.
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Q & A
- Growing up, who was your favorite NFL player and why?
- Deion Sanders was my favorite NFL player, because he was one of the greatest DB and his dancing ability.
- In college, what player hit you the hardest? Who was the recipient of your best hit?
- Marcus Hudson (my teammate) during practice hit me the hardest! The recipient of my hardest hit was the running back from Southern Mississippi.
- What TV-show marathon will keep you on the couch all day?
- "Martin" tv-show is one that will keep me on the couch all day!
- What are the five most-played songs in your iPod? What's the one song you hope nobody ever finds out is in your iPod?
- Marvin Sapp -- "Never would of made it". Andre 3000 "ProtoType". John Legend "Ordinary People". Tupac "Dear Mama". Andre 3000 "Bombs over Baghdad". Most embarrassing song -- Backstreet Boys.
- What celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life and why?
- Morris Chestnut is who I would choose to play me in a movie regarding my life because he plays great football roles.
- What is one thing your teammates don't know about you?
- Many of my teammates don't know that I write poetry.
- What reality TV show would you like to be on and why?
- "College Hill" is a show that I would like to be a part of because it represents a lot of diversity and friendship in different aspects of college life.
- What's your proudest moment in football? Proudest moment off the field?
- My proudest moment in football was during 2006. I caught the game-winning interception against FSU. Off the field, my proudest moment was when I was the recipient of the NCAA Pick-Six Community Service Award.
- When you play Madden, what team do you use? Do you put yourself on the team?
- I do not play video games.
- Who has been the biggest influence on your football career and how?
- My mother is my biggest influence on my football career. She is my motivation and inspiration; my pride and joy!