Crete-Monee linebacker Nyles Morgan will play his college football for coach Brian Kelly and Notre Dame.
Morgan, a two-time Times Illinois defensive player of the year and an Illinois Class 6A all-state selection, made the announcement on NBC-TV at the start of the fourth quarter of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. Morgan was on the West team.
His other two choices were Vanderbilt and Ole Miss. Morgan told the national TV audience it was a tough choice.
"It came down to what was most important," Morgan said.
He also added, "They do need a Mike (middle) linebacker and hopefully I can fill that role for them."
Morgan was surrounded by family members including his mother, Velma Sells, and father, Thomas Morgan. Crete coach John Konecki was also in attendance.
He had over 30 offers and several scouting services have him among the top five prep linebackers in the country. Morgan was one of the prep players to receive 477 letters from Notre Dame. The package is called the "#PotOfGold" by the Irish coaching and recruiting staff. Then Fighting Irish offensive coordinator and Rich East grad Chuck Martin was Morgan's primary recruiter. He left to become the head coach at Miami (Ohio).
Morgan and teammate Chris Slayton, who recently committed to Syracuse, make it nine Crete players to play at Division I schools in the past seven years.
Konecki said said the whole Crete-Monee community is proud of Morgan.
"Nyles has set the bar of excellence on and off the field of play for future members of the Ctete-Monee football program to reach for throughout their careers," Konecki said. "There is no doubt in my mind that he will excel both academically and athletically at Notre Dame."
Morgan was part of a Crete program which went 32-3 in his three years on the varsity, including winning the 2012 Class 6A state championship. The Warriors were 26-1 in the regular season over the past three years.
This year, Morgan had 100 total tackles in nine games as he led the Warriors to an 8-2 record. They lost in a Class 6A first-round opener to Providence. He missed the season opener against T.F. South with a sore knee.