“I just want to try to help those young guys fill those spots and show them how [Westerkamp and Reilly] did things, so they know what to do in game situations,” Morgan said.
Throughout his career, Morgan has had 58 career catches and Pierson-El has had 55. Those two have the most experience by far, but Bryan Reimers – a walk-on from Lincoln East – also caught five passes for 75 yards in 2016. There are high expectations for those three, but it can’t just be on them.
Younger players – like redshirt freshman JD Spielman and junior transfer Keyan Williams – will be expected to step up. There’s also the incoming freshmen that enrolled early – Jaevon McQuitty and Keyshawn Johnson Jr. – who could be difference makers right away too.
Morgan has been the most impressed with Spielman so far this spring, but he’s seen a lot of good things from the whole group.
“It’s hard to tell because all of those guys are really pushing to learn and filling those spots,” Morgan said.
The wide receivers are adjusting to more than just inexperience too. They are also learning and adjusting to a brand new quarterback. With the exception of the freshmen, the receiving corps had the opportunity to work with Tanner Lee and Patrick O’Brien throughout this past fall. While building chemistry may seem like the major benefit, it was simpler than that for wide receivers coach Keith Williams.
“It helped for the simple fact that they got the reps,” Williams said. “Other than that, it’s probably just the same. They haven’t worked together that much for it to be a chemistry factor. It did help in the terms of those getting reps.”
With spring football marching on, Morgan has goals. He has no doubt in his mind that the new receivers corps can surpass those before him.
“This group is going to have a chance,” Williams said. “You never know what will happen.”
Push Williams a little further though and he’ll tell you it doesn’t actually matter if this new group does that or not.
“Even if they do or they don’t, I don’t compare the groups,” Williams said. “Stan’s not the same player he was last year and he’s a part of that group. Every year is a new year because every kid is different the next year. I don’t care if they catch more or not, but it may happen.”
Morgan will keep pushing for it to happen though. He takes the advice of his former teammates and can often be found watching film with Carter or Reilly. He has big plans as the leader of the receivers, even if the role hit him pretty fast.
“It’s not that bad like you think it would be,” Morgan said. “I just do the things I’ve been doing, but just doing a little bit more.”
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.