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BG's Morgan adapts to new role (9-23-11) PDF Print E-mail
Written by By JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Friday, 23 September 2011 12:10
So far this season, less means more for Bowling Green’s Keith Morgan.
A senior, Morgan has played safety since getting playing time as a true freshman in 2008. In the last two years he has been in 24 games, with 10 starts, while making 135 tackles. He came to Bowling Green after earning first-team Division III All-Ohio honors as a defensive back his senior year at Bellefontaine High School
The fall, Morgan is the backup rover and the sixth defensive back when needed. He’s also a special teams stalwart. He’ll be on the field Saturday when the Falcons open their Mid-American Conference schedule at Miami. Kickoff is 1 p.m.
The cutback in Morgan’s playing time this fall hasn’t limited his production.
“Keith Morgan, so far through three games, has been more productive as our rover and as our nickel (defensive back), playing less snaps than he was last year as a starter. He has really played well,” BG head coach Dave Clawson said. “He’s made plays. He’s made tackles. He’s defended well in the pass game.”
Morgan has been in on 11 tackles this fall, including eight solos, and he has two tackles for loss.
In addition to his production on the field, Clawson appreciates Morgan’s positive attitude.
“If someone has a right to hang their head because they are not starting, maybe it’s Keith,” Clawson said. “He started as safety, we moved him to linebacker and now he gets beaten out by a sophomore.
“But he’s still playing a lot of football, His attitude is great, his preparation is great. It’s not about him, it’s about the team.”
Clawson said having players with Morgan’s attitude allows a team to be a team because they are putting the team first, keeping their attitude positive and not being selfish. He added that those players are helping at times as much as the guys making eight or 10 tackles per game.
Morgan likes playing the rover spot, which is a linebacker/defensive hybrid position.
“There’s a lot more action when you’re playing that position,” Morgan said. “You’re closer to the ball at all times and I get to blitz a lot more too.
“Depending on the (offensive) sets ... I get to go head-to-head with the fullback a lot more often and I like doing that.”
The rover has developed with the emergence of the spread as the offense of choice by many college teams.
“As the spread offenses evolved, teams had three and four receivers on the field and you’re not able to play your base (defense),” Clawson said. “We, along with a lot of other teams, evolved into a base defense that involves five defensive backs. That allows you to match up with spread offenses better.
“That rover position is a unique fit. When it’s done right, it’s a guy who runs as well as a safety and can hit like a linebacker.”
The knowledge gained through his first three years has helped Morgan adapt to the new position.
“With experience the game tends to slow down a little bit more,” Morgan said. “I’m thinking a little faster now.
“I’m a pretty savvy guy and I have a pretty good understanding of the game,” Morgan added. “I think I’m pretty physical.”
Morgan said his time at Bowling Green has gone by quickly, especially since he did not take a redshirt year.
“A couple of people I came in with, we have talked about it a couple of times. It’s just gone by so fast,” Morgan said. “It just feels like yesterday I was just getting here, learning the ropes and how to do everything. Now it’s me telling freshmen: ‘This is what you have to do. This is how you do this.’”
Morgan is a sport management major and plans to graduate in December 2012 after completing his internship.
After graduation, Morgan hopes to stay involved with football.
“I would like to get into NFL scouting or (college) coaching,” Morgan said. “I would have to start out as a GA (graduate assistant) at first and work my way up until maybe one day being a head coach.”
Last Updated on Friday, 23 September 2011 12:12
 

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