Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Mikhail Morgan, WR, Notre Dame College
How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
Coming from a lesser known school I flew under the radar for the most part during HS. The first school that offered was Troy during my junior year, followed by UAB and Syracuse. After verbally committing to SU, interest slowed down but numerous coaches from 1-AA schools visited throughout my senior year until I settled on Utah State late in the recruiting process.
Where did you choose and why?
I originally chose Syracuse because it was close to my hometown and my family could see me play, but soon after falling in love with the campus atmosphere, the coaching staff was let go midway through my senior year. Despite being recruited by the new staff, I just didn’t feel the same connection. So after reopening recruiting I ended up choosing Utah State because of the great rapport I built with Coach Raymond in a short time and I wanted to play for a staff that cared about me as a person, as much as they did a player.
What were your goals for your senior year?
Winning and helping to create a great WR tradition; were the most important goals of my senior year. Brought in to be a leader in a young program at Notre Dame College, I wanted to help put the school on the map and be the senior leader I always needed when I was growing into my own in my early years at Utah State. Being one of the most productive and consistent WR’s in the conference was a close second.
Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
I spoke to two scouts briefly in a meeting while attending Notre Dame College. After taking the wonder link and getting some measurable’s; we talked a bit about my game and was told that they liked my skill set at my height but wanted to see more down field plays, and straight line speed to finish off short routes.
At your position, what separates you from the others?
My knowledge of the game separates me the most from other WR’s. Despite being relatively new to the game of football I pride myself on being a student of the game, adding to my skills and love being in the film room every bit as much as the most studious quarterback.
Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
When breaking down film in a game week the first thing I look for are my opponents favorite coverage’s by downs and specific situations. After that, I study each DB to look for any tells they may give in body positioning or alignment to remember during those moments before the snap, along with their individual strengths/weaknesses and what routes they struggle to defend. Lastly I look for plays that I think can be successful vs the defense, along with the strengths/weaknesses of the defense as a whole so I can give educated feedback to coaches throughout game planning and in the game.
Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
Kyle Wilson from Boise state. He was a perfect fit for the Boise scheme and excelled in zone coverage. Despite facing corners who were faster or stronger throughout my career, he stood out as one of the most intelligent when it came to recognizing route combinations and knowing where his help was to over play certain routes in any given situation.
If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
Aj Green. We have a similar build and while he isn’t one of the strongest outside WRs he makes up for it with a complete game. He’s intelligent, runs clean routes and has the range/body control to compete against stronger DB’s.
What system fits your style of play the best?
After playing for numerous head coaches and offensive coordinators throughout my football career I honestly believe I can contribute in any offensive scheme in some way. But I believe I would be most productive in a pass happy spread offense that emphasized option routes, spacing, and versatility from the outside WR to move around the field to create mismatches.
What is your biggest strength?
Intelligence, Catch radius and ability to find space in the defense.
What is your biggest weakness?
If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?
I’d be an investment with limitless potential on the field that would bring great enthusiasm and positive energy into the locker room.
Growing up, who was your role model?
My mom. For her strong work ethic, positive energy and ability to keep a kind heart no matter the circumstances.
Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
The Colts and Peyton Manning. I’ve always loved watching the Colts offense because they were so tough to stop with all their adjustments and precision; and I’ve always looked up to Peyton Manning for his tireless work ethic, leadership, and humbleness.
What was the most tragic event that ever happened in your life and how did you overcome it?
Having to get unexpected foot surgery after my sophomore year and finding out I’d be done for a little over a year, was some of the most tragic news I’ve ever had to deal with. While a sport injury is small in the grand scheme of life, it was incredibly tough to deal with because up to that point I always define myself as an athlete. After having surgery and being so distant from the team I found myself lost in life. It started to affect my grades and my relationships with people; and I soon found myself isolated due to poor decisions and an even worst attitude. But it forced me to take a long honest look at myself, strictly as a person for the first time in my life, and made me think about the kind of person outside of sports that I truly wanted to be. So after a lot of alone time reflecting, I matured spiritually and found a whole new perspective on life.
If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
Socrates, because I can’t think of another person who would have a better conversation about life with. Jon Gruden, because I love his enthusiasm for the game of football and would have a great time picking his brain about the game; along with hearing all his cool stories and sayings. Lastly JFK, so I could hear his vision for America and comparing it to the America I live in today.
With your first paycheck what would you buy?
Something my mom has always wanted but couldn’t get for herself.