September 7, 2009

Morgan leads by example

Kent State quarterback Giorgio Morgan wasn't perfect in the Golden Flashes' 18-0 victory over Coastal Carolina on Thursday at Dix Stadium. But, the 6-foot-4, 207-pound redshirt sophomore lived up to the expectations set by his teammates when they elected him one of four team captains.

Morgan completed 21-of-35 passes for 201 yards in his first action since Nov. 10, 2007, despite playing on a sprained ankle suffered early in the first quarter.

"He certainly earned a lot of respect," said Kent State head coach Doug Martin. "Our guys know you're going to have to cut his leg off to get him out of there."

The injury not only limited Morgan's mobility-he was sacked three times-but it also hampered his ability to throw the deep ball.

"He was obviously hurting, but never asked to come out and I talked to him about it at one point and he was adamant that he could go in and make plays so we kept him in there," Martin said. "He earned a lot of respect there. I think he had that from the beginning, getting voted as a captain, I've said several times, as a sophomore, is a huge compliment to him. That was another big piece for those guys to see that he's going to go out there and give everything he's got to them is another big piece of being a leader."

Morgan finished Thursday's game but did not practice with the team on Sunday. All signs point to him being ready for the Golden Flashes' contest at Boston College on Saturday.

"I was talking to the trainers and everything; they seem to think he's going to be fine and will be able to practice (Tuesday)," Martin said. "We'll see how he does. Once you have (an ankle injury), you've got to be prepared because you can get one rolled ankle this Saturday and he'll be out for a while."

Bottom Heavy
Morgan, who weighed in before Thursday's game at about 209 pounds, has plenty of room to grow, according to Martin.

"He is 15 pounds heavier than what he was when he played as a freshman. I think that he can be probably 15 more pounds at least, particularly when you look at his lower body, that's where he can put on a lot of weight," Martin said. "I need to chain him to a squat rack for about a year and a half. Really, he can be huge, and I think it would help him stay healthier too. He needs to really work on that lower body. He can look like the prototypical NFL quarterback if he does that."

Looking for Reinforcements
If Morgan is not ready to go or is injured during Saturday's game against the Eagles, look for true freshman Spencer Keith to take over the offense. Fifth-year senior Anthony Magazu is still battling an elbow, moving Keith into the role as Morgan's backup.

"Anthony just hasn't progressed to the point where he can go out there and make all the throws that we would need as far as the arm strength. He knows where to go and all that, and he's not having a lot of pain, but it's just getting the arm strength back and the accuracy and those types of things. He may get it back, but if something happened to Giorgio in this game we'd put Spencer out there and go play," Martin said.


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