Tuesday, November 22, 2011

the recruit: Kye Morgan

Name: Kye Morgan
Position: RB
Hometown: Somerset, NJ
School: Franklin
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 175

24/7: 81; three stars; #66 RB; NJ #35
ESPN: 74; two stars; #158 RB; NJ #37; Atlantic #200
Rivals: 5.6; three stars; #46 RB; NJ #22
Scout: three stars; #41 RB

Other offers: Rutgers, Illinois, Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Temple

It took a little while (relative to the rest of the recruiting class) but UVA got its running back just as fall camp kicked off, a man forever destined to be called Kyle on every message board by the uninitiatied and/or uninformed.

Morgan had Rutgers on the top of his wish list for most of the year, which is no surprise because his high school and hometown are literally across the river from Rutgers.  You could hardly find a better definition of a school's backyard.  We can't exactly say we stole Morgan from under their noses; Rutgers cut Morgan off after taking a commitment from another very similar player (except, one that had no other offers besides the Rutgers one.)  Worried that his #2 choice might also fill up, Morgan jumped on board.  (At the time, we were also still recruiting Chris Mangus hard, and had our eye on a couple other backs as well.)

Depending on the future of 2012 recruiting, it's possible that Morgan could move to safety, but the coaches seem to be regarding any further commitments as pure icing on the cake, so they're only playing longshots now.  So Morgan is probably a running back all the way.  As such, he fills a need; even though we have three of them rotating through very nicely, not having one in this class would've hurt, because three of four scholarship backs on the roster are set up to run out of eligibility in 2014.

Morgan isn't a specialty back, so he fills our need very well.  There's a lot of things he does well - nothing spectacularly, but well, and productively.  Doesn't have blazing fast speed, but he's fast enough, and quick to hit his top gear.  Morgan also appears to have decent balance; despite his smallish size, defenders seem to consistently have trouble wrapping him up high on his highlight tapes, with the obvious and usual caveat that college players are a lot stronger.  He'll also be a threat in the passing game, similar to Perry Jones.

Morgan's ratings are good enough and consistent enough that you can ignore the outlier; in this case, ESPN.  I don't think a two-star guy has offers from that many decent schools.  He had a very productive high school career, finishing it as the career and single-game yardage and touchdown record holder.  Actually it's not quite finished; Franklin bowed out of the playoffs in the first round, but they have their rivalry game this coming weekend.

I think you can expect him to redshirt, because next season, Superman Jones is a senior and Parks and Richardson are sophomores.  Nobody from this current crop of very productive backs is leaving.  And in case someone gets hurt, Khalek Shepherd is ready to step in as well.  There shouldn't be any need to play Morgan, and in fact it's ideal for his career if he can put a year of separation between himself and three other backs.  Richardson and Parks will cast quite a shadow for a while.  I don't expect Morgan to ever be a one-man show in the backfield, but if he redshirts (and assuming we don't pick up any more running backs this year) he'll have two seasons as the graybeard running back on the roster, and regardless of how his time is split, I expect he'll be very productive by then.


Anonymous said...

I think he can be an Alvin Pearman type of guy, but he needs to put on probably a good 15 pounds at the very least. Thus, a redshirt year makes the most sense for him, due to physical development needed and the depth chart ahead of him.

Brendan said...

Alvin Pearman is an excellent comparison.