MIKE NIETO: Crete-Monee's Morgan keeps his focus

2013-08-30T22:45:00Z 2013-08-31T03:21:09Z MIKE NIETO: Crete-Monee's Morgan keeps his focusMike Nieto Prep Beat nwitimes.com
August 30, 2013 10:45 pm  • 

LANSING | Crete-Monee linebacker Nyles Morgan paced with his teammates Friday night in the foyer that separates the two gyms at T.F. South High School.

Coach John Konecki and his staff were talking to them during a lightning delay, which eventually lead to the postponement of the season opener.

Down the hall, the T.F. South Rebels were in a classroom and coach Tom Padjen and his staff were talking to their kids.

As anxious as they were to get on the field, Mother Nature had other plans.

Konecki's debut as coach of the defending Class 6A champions was delayed until today's 7 p.m. kickoff — weather permitting.

Morgan is one of the top prep linebackers in the country, but Friday night he and his teammates were on just one of several teams that saw anticipated opening nights set back a day.

"It is disappointing, but as long as we get a chance tomorrow (Saturday) it will be OK," Morgan said. "We were anxious to get out there tonight and play. We know T.F. South is a good team and we expect a good game."

Morgan said he will announce via twitter on Sunday his final six choices of the more than 35 schools that have offered the linebacker a scholarship. Morgan is more willing to talk about his teammates than himself, but that is the kind of kid he is. He has not let his recruitment turn into a circus. He learned a lot from his friend and former teammate Laquon Treadwell, who did the same last year before announcing he would play for Ole Miss.

And play he did on Thursday as Morgan and his fellow Warriors saw Treadwell not only start as a freshman, but catch nine passes for 82 yards and a 2-point conversion.

"Quon had all that attention, but his attention was on us winning a state title," Morgan said. "As a leader, you don't let your teammates get distracted. We want to come out and play hard every game."

He also pointed out that he is not the only player drawing attention. Chris Slayton, Omar Stringer, Deon Benton, Jonathan Draper are getting their share of looks as well.

"We got a good team and good players," Morgan said.

The Warriors want to develop their own identity, but want to keep the tradition going. The Warriors are 24-1 over the last two seasons and have won 21 regular-season games in a row. The Warriors last regular-season road loss was at T.F. South to open the 2010 season.

Morgan will be a terror on the field to opposing ball carriers, just like he was last year. If Konecki decides to use him as a fullback in a short-distance situation, look out!

This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at mike.nieto@nwi.com.

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