Prep Football: West Rowan receiver Morgan to Winston-Salem State
By Ronnie Gallagher
MOUNT ULLA — West Rowan football coach Scott Young found it hard to believe he didn’t have a player inking on National Signing Day.
Jarvis Morgan took care of that detail one day later.
With his parents by his side, the 6-foot-3 wide receiver signed with Winston-Salem State of the CIAA on Thursday morning.
The all-conference and all-county star becomes the sixth Ram recruit for head coach Connell Maynor and the second wide receiver. Rodney Quick, a 5-9, 170-pound end, signed out of Chapel Hill.
“They expressed interest in him about two, three weeks ago,” Young said. “I think this is a program that Jarvis had his eye on from the beginning. I’m really pleased.”
WSSU liked what they saw on film and why not? In 2011, Morgan helped the Falcons to a 13-3 record. He caught 48 passes for 1,015 yards and 11 touchdowns. He had a four-touchdown game in a 54-7 trouncing of East Rowan.
He even played under center occasionally and rushed nine times for 129 yards.
Morgan says he and the Rams have a lot in common. They’re both winners.
He played in four straight 3A state championship games at West Rowan, winning three before losing last season. His teams were 60-4 during his career.
Meanwhile, Winston-Salem State had arguably the most dominating season in league history, going 13-1 and making the national semifinals of the Division II playoffs.
“At West Rowan, you’ve got to be a winner,” Morgan said. “(WSSU) talked about being winners. They want to win national championships and that’s why I think I’ll fit in.”
Everything was a good fit. Morgan has family members who attended WSSU and N.C. A&T.
“My family grew up in the area and I like the program,” he said. “They showed me love.”
Even the coaches have ties. Young played for WSSU defensive coordinator Mike Ketchum while at Guilford, as did current Catawba head coach Chip Hester.
“We’ve got a connection up there,” Young said.
Morgan is quite a story. He never played football until his freshman year of high school. Teammate and star running back Dinkin Miller kind of prodded him into trying it.
“I was always a basketball player,” Morgan said. “But I’d always heard Dinkin saying, ‘I’m going to football practice.’ When I got to high school, they said to get some cleats and come on out. I went out there just to do it, but I started liking the sport. I thought, ‘I can do something with this one day.’ ”
That was confirmed on the first pass thrown his way on the jayvee team — a touchdown pass from Tyler Mullis. He was soon pulled up to the varsity.
West Liberty (W. Va.), Charlotte and Fayetteville State were among those interested. But after taking his official visit to Winston-Salem, Morgan was ready to sign.
“He had some options,” Young said, “but I really think he felt comfortable with his visit.”
Morgan becomes the second Rowan County player to sign. Salisbury’s William Brown signed with Fayetteville State. A story is upcoming on Brown.
According to Young, WSSU is also interested in NPC defensive player of the year Greg Dixon, a star lineman, known for sacking the quarterback.
“Hopefully, something will materialize there,” Young said.
Miller, who ran for 2,570 yards his senior year while scoring 26 touchdowns, has been offered by Division II West Liberty, as have offensive lineman Mike Norman and defensive lineman Maurice Warren. Young is sure his athletic quarterback Zay Laster will find a home. Troy Culbertson has Division III offers.
“It feels good,” he smiled.