Heading into his senior season, Stanley Morgan Jr. is starting to feel a bit like an old man around campus. However, the record-setting receiver is still young at heart.
“I do feel old now,” Morgan said after Nebraska’s second official practice under Scott Frost. “I feel young, but I feel old. All these new guys, but all the old guys still come around; you’ve got Cethan [Carter] hanging around, you’ve got Hop [Tyler Hoppes], so I’m still young to them but I’m old to these guys.”
After Bill Moos fired Mike Riley and his staff, there was some speculation that Morgan could leave early for the NFL Draft. However, Morgan said on Tuesday that he never truly even considered leaving.
“I wasn’t thinking about going,” Morgan said. “It was just the media boosted it up.”
When asked if the hiring of Scott Frost impacted his decision to return for his senior year, Morgan simply responded ‘Yeah” with a big smile on his face.
Morgan said he’s excited about playing in Frost’s offense which is completely different than anything he’s played in before in terms of its up-tempo nature.
“I’m always eager to learn and just get better,” Morgan said. “That’s why I’m back. You want to take everything you can before you leave.”
After setting a single-season school record with 986 yards on 61 catches, Morgan doesn’t believe he really has anything to prove, at least not to any outsiders. His goal is to prove to himself that he can be a top-tier receiver every time he sets foot on the gridiron.
“I just want to prove to myself that in and out, every week I’m that guy,” Morgan said.
Morgan’s focus over the offseason and during his senior year is on the little things including running crisper routes, completing more catches and improving his speed. Perfection is his goal.
“Just getting back to my fundamentals, polish everything, just making sure everything’s right and I’m doing everything right,” Morgan said. “Just polish everything up and be that perfect receiver.”
Morgan has watched a few Central Florida games and immersed himself in the playbook. He said he’s excited about what his role will be in this offense and is willing to do whatever the team asks of him.
That includes stepping up as a leader, both by example and vocally as far as guiding the young players on the roster through spring ball. Morgan’s message to the underclassmen is simple: keep your heads up and always look forward to the next play, especially after mistakes. As far as the example part of leadership, it starts with preparation.
“Just preparing myself for the practice, preparing myself like a pro and preparing myself like a leader,” Morgan said. “I’ve got to come ready every day, I’ve got to come ready to lead the guys. I can’t take days off.”
The level of dedication Frost requires was established during winter conditioning with Zach Duval and his staff.
“The first workout, man, it was crazy,” Morgan said. “I couldn’t walk for like a week. It was good work though, real good work.”
The workouts also provided an opportunity for the team to grow closer together according to Morgan.
“After the first workout, we all bonded together,” Morgan said. “We were all just sitting there; we couldn’t move. So it helps the bonding, getting together. That’s the main thing right there right now is just bonding and making sure everybody is getting together and figuring it out.”
The Huskers will get plenty more opportunities to continue that bonding process as spring ball is just getting started.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.