Morgan Has Heart

Posted May 18, 2017

Morgan produced the third- and fourth-best receiving seasons in school history at Arkansas in 2015 and 2016.

Jarvis Landry made quite an impression a few years back on a fellow wide receiver who now has become his teammate with the Miami Dolphins.

What Landry did that day in November 2013 was powerful enough that Drew Morgan, then a freshman at the University of Arkansas, decided Landry could serve as a great role model as he went through his own college career.

The impact was clear when Morgan tweeted after signing with the Dolphins as a rookie free agent:

Morgan explained what stood out to him about Landry, who had eight catches for 113 yards in LSU’s 31-27 victory in Baton Rouge on Nov. 29, 2013.

“We played him when I was a freshman and he was a (junior),” Morgan recalled. “I didn’t redshirt, so I was able to travel. Him and Odell (Beckham Jr.) kind of stood out to me. I was like, those guys, they have some swag. I wish I had that and I don’t. And I understand that I’m a little bit more country, but those guys and how they handled their business made me not necessarily want to be like them, but I wanted to carry myself like them. A lot of people caught it as, you’re cocky, you’re overconfident. I’m like, I’m just trying to have swag. I’m probably doing it the wrong way. But I watch a lot of his game and I try to imitate my game from him.

“And then of course, over the years, I saw how consistent he was, through film, and sometimes he’d get covered but the majority of the time he was open. He’d catch balls. There’s a reason why he’s in the league and I knew that my freshman year after watching him. I knew that’s a guy that’s going to do something and I was like, I want to do something, too. Thinking back on it now, it’s kind of crazy how it all plays out. I had an opportunity to come here. (I don’t) necessarily know what position I’m going to play, but at the same time I could possibly be right behind him learning.”

Morgan ended up carving a pretty nice career himself at Arkansas, producing the third- and fourth-best receiving seasons in school history in 2015 and 2016 (63 and 65 catches, respectively).

But Morgan lacked the size and speed to make him a high-end NFL prospect, although his production did earn him an invitation to the 2017 scouting combine.

It was an invitation that Morgan says took him by surprise.

“I was a little shocked because I feel like a lot of (what I offer) are a lot of just intangibles that you can’t necessarily judge,” Morgan said. “You can’t take a time on how big your heart is or how much you love the game. A lot of the 40s and all that, that’s great. … I’m not even 6 feet honestly. It’s crazy how it all worked out. I was glad I got the opportunity to do that. Met with a lot of coaches, and even after the combine was over, people were still, ‘Why did he even get an invite? We could have invited these guys.’ And I felt like I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m sorry I’m slow, but when it’s third-and-2 and you need a first down in the fourth quarter, you’re going to throw me the ball. I catch the ball. It’s just crazy how it played out, but I was very thankful to get those opportunities at the combine.”

Morgan described his playing style as “quick” and “twitchy.”

There’s also nobody who will play harder or get more fired up. It’s what led to his nickname, one that is very familiar to Dolphins fans and circles back to Jarvis Landry.

Yep, Morgan’s nickname at Arkansas was “Juice.” Morgan said he almost couldn’t reveal the information out of deference.

It’s almost the same thing on the field, though Morgan makes it clear that as much as he admires Landry, he’s here to do his own thing.

“I just want to pick his brain, but at the same time he does what he does and I do what I do,” Morgan said. “Wherever the coach needs me, I’ll play it. First down, move the chains kind of guy. I’m not going to be your deep-ball speedster down the field, but I’ve got a lot of double moves. As this whole thing unravels, my goal is to make the roster.”

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