Maurice Morgan headed to N.C. State
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 15, 2010 1:51 AM
LaGRANGE -- Maurice Morgan is one of the quietest kids on the North Lenoir High School football team.
He lets his game do all the talking.
A varsity standout heading into his senior season with the Hawks, Morgan drew interest from several Division I football programs over the past two seasons. This week the do-it-all back selected N.C. State.
"All the people at N.C. State were great and the coaches and players made me feel like I was really wanted," Morgan said before his daily workout on Friday. "I got to visit up there twice and I got to meet some of the guys on the team and talk to Russell Wilson. That helped me decide."
Known for wreaking havoc on special teams, Morgan added a successful rushing season to his repertoire in 2009. Despite running behind a young and often overmatched offensive line, Morgan rushed for 705 yards on 140 carries as a junior. He reached the end zone six times.
The fearless speedster added five special teams touchdowns.
"That is the thing about Maurice, he can score from anywhere on the field," said second-year North Lenoir head coach Calvin Sutton. "He is dangerous as a back, as a receiver and as a kick returner."
The road to N.C. State was a long one that was made easier due to Morgan's strong relationship with Sutton.
"I wanted to talk to people that didn't have an allegiance to one college or the other," said Morgan. "Coach Sutton has no ties to any of the schools that were recruiting me and he really helped me pick a place with my best interests in mind."
As soon as he took over the reigns of the Hawks' program, Sutton encouraged Morgan to get his name out there and do everything to get noticed. Morgan translated that advice into entering a scouting combine in Greenville where he clocked 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, Morgan immediately began getting phone calls.
"I had coaches calling me all the time and basically asking 'Who is this kid'?" said Sutton. "They wanted to know his stats, but they also wanted to know what kind of person he was and what kind of student."
Morgan will either play wide receiver or safety at N.C. State. It's a decision that the young recruit feels confident that Wolfpack head coach Tom O'Brien will make with his potential in mind.
"Coach O'Brien is really laid back and just a very soft-spoken guy," said Morgan. "I feel like he is a true players coach and to me it doesn't matter where he wants me to play. I am going to do my best."
Morgan plans on majoring in chemistry at N.C. State.
With one more season at North Lenoir and a clear mind thanks to an early decision, Morgan's focus is now turned back on his high school squad and a lofty goal.
Morgan wants to take the Hawks to the playoffs in their second season as a member of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference.
"I think this team has a number of guys that can play, not just me," Morgan said. "Our goal is the playoffs and that is something that I think we have the potential to accomplish."
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