This past week I had the opportunity to take a look at the Greeley West vs. Longmont game. In a contest with multiple 4A All-State players, many of whom will play in college, some at D1s, athlete Max Morgan of Greeley West stood out.
When I was coaching, the greatest compliment I could give to one of my players or an opposing player was the title of "football player." Any given team will have athletes, but a football player is an athlete that combines the intangibles with athleticism and toughness. Let me tell you, Max Morgan of Greeley West is a football player's football player. Running, blocking, catching, tackling, covering, Morgan does it all and does it well.
On offense, the 6-0 200 pound player creates tremendous versatility for Greeley West as he lines up in a variety of offensive positions helping to create the run, pass balance that makes the Spartans so difficult to defend. As an old school fullback Morgan can line up in I and lead block for tailback Steffen Bunting. Bunting, a very talented player in his own right can thank Morgan's ability as a blocker for more than a few yards. Moving from fullback to receiver, Morgan has the ability to play wide or from the slot. Whichever it is, Morgan creates major league matchup problems. Way too strong for DBs, Morgan will defeat coverage. Too fast for backers, Morgan is going to get open. On top of the matchup dilemmas he creates, Morgan runs crisp patterns, has the ability to make tacklers miss creating yards after the catch and he has the speed to turn a short grab into a big run. Morgan also lines up at tight end putting extra pressure on the defense due to his ability to block and be a receiver from that position. This is especially effective in goal line situations.
As good as Morgan is on offense, he may be better on defense. The All-League, All-State linebacker uses the same versatile skill set to make plays all over the field. Tough, with solid size and good instincts, Morgan has the ability to make plays in the wash working between tackles. Morgan's speed and feet allow him to make plays in coverage, creating another defensive back that can run with anyone on the opposing team. Morgan also excels in space showing the ability to make tackles in one on one situation.
A look at Morgan's stat line from the 48-24 win over Longmont Thursday night is a great testament to his complete game. Offensively, Morgan average five yards a carry and 22 yards a reception. On defense, Morgan along with numerous tackles had an interception that he returned 50 yards setting up a Greeley west score. Even more impressive than his stat line are Morgan's intangibles. One on one tackles to stop big plays, blocks that spring backs and coverage that forces sacks do not show up on paper, but they do win games.
At the next level, Morgan's greatest chance to contribute to a D1 program is at strong safety. His ability to tackle in space, cover and the toughness honed playing backer, give him the ability to move in and out of the box to make plays. His versatility should also make him an early contributor playing special teams. Kick and punt coverage, blocking for returns are all readymade for Morgan.