Friday, August 16, 2013

2013 Season Countdown: #13 Desmond Morgan

Desmond Morgan
Name: Desmond Morgan
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 228 lbs.
High school: Holland (MI) West Ottawa
Position: Linebacker
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #48
Last year: I ranked Morgan #20 and said he would be the starting weakside linebacker with 80 tackles and 3 sacks. He had 81 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, .5 sacks, and 2 pass breakups.

Morgan was a pretty consistent player as a second-year starter in 2012. He didn't make many flashy plays, but he was dependable and the coaches could usually count on him being in the right position. He finished the season tied for third on the team in tackles (Jake Ryan was first with 88, Kenny Demens had 82, Thomas Gordon also had 81) and was awarded the #48 jersey in honor of former Wolverine and President of the United States of America Gerald Ford. Morgan was also Academic All-Big Ten. With the graduation of Demens, Morgan bumped over to middle linebacker in the spring to make room for rising sophomore James Ross at WILL.

This year the coaches seem to be counting on Morgan to be a leader of the defense. He's a little bit light for the MIKE spot, but he moves well and should be a bit of an upgrade over Demens, in my opinion. I have always had a fairly high opinion of Morgan, and I think he fits better at MIKE than WILL, where he was a little less athletic than desired; for the past couple years, he has been playing slightly out of position to get the best eleven on the field. His backup should be sophomore Joe Bolden, a quality player in his own right, albeit somewhat inexperienced. Jake Ryan is the star on the outside, and Ross is an up-and-comer on the weakside, but I believe Michigan fans will be very satisfied with the play from the middle linebacker position.

Prediction: Starting middle linebacker; 85 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception


  1. We are starting to get spoiled with pretty good LB play. LB seems to have been a weakness off and on for the last 10 years. UM is now filling the depth chart with instinctive guys who are picking things up pretty quickly. A lot of the good ones under Carr were not particularly field-worthy until late in their careers. But guys like Ryan, Ross, and Morgan were already competent as 1st or 2nd year players. Morgan in particular has been a nice surprise.

    1. Makes you wonder how Ezeh's and Mouton's careers would have turned out if Mattison & Smith had been here then.

    2. I wouldn't call having a player of Morgan's quality being "spoiled." He's just okay, not a guy who disrupts opposing offenses.

  2. It's true, player development under Carr always seemed to lag behind where it should have been. This year should show if Hoke and Co. are changing that.

  3. Morgan is hard not to like, but ultimately he's a pretty average starter with a backup that could/should be able to replace him without losing a major step. To be a player ranked this high he should be making a lot more impact plays. Maybe this year, and this role, will suit him better.