Mor­gan learn­ing from mis­steps

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Eric Olson

LIN­COLN, NEB.» Ne­braska re­ceiver Stan­ley Mor­gan Jr. knows ev­ery­thing he does on and off the foot­ball field will be scru­ti­nized a lit­tle more this sea­son fol­low­ing his run-in with the law last spring.

He said he’s de­ter­mined not to dis­ap­point team­mates, coaches, fam­ily and ev­ery­body else who sup­ports him.

“You live and you learn,” Mor­gan said af­ter prac­tice Thurs­day. “It was a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for me. I’m just putting that in the past, build­ing off that and grow­ing as a young man.”

Mor­gan and team­mate An­to­nio Reed were charged with mar­i­juana pos­ses­sion fol­low­ing a traf­fic stop in Port Or­ange, Fla., in May. Pros­e­cu­tors dropped the mis­de­meanor charge against Mor­gan last month af­ter he com­pleted a treat­ment pro­gram. Reed, a backup safety, has a trial set for Aug. 21 for mis­de­meanor pos­ses­sion of mar­i­juana and drug para­pher­na­lia.

The dis­po­si­tion of his case al­lows Mor­gan to con­cen­trate fully on foot­ball un­til classes be­gin Aug. 21. Much is ex­pected of the Corn­huskers’ top re­turn­ing re­ceiver. The team lost three of its top four pass-catch­ers.

“Stan is a pride­ful per­son,” re­ceivers coach Keith Williams said. “He’s go­ing to be equally as hard on him­self as you are on him when he makes a mis­take on or off the field. He and I had a re­ally good talk and we con­tinue to talk. He knows what he needs to do as a young man and he’s striv­ing for­ward on that.”

Coach Mike Ri­ley said he’s pleased with how Mor­gan has be­haved since the ar­rest and that team dis­ci­pline, if any, would be an­nounced later.

Mor­gan started nine of 13 games in 2016 and made 33 catches for 453 yards, in­clud­ing a 72-yarder against In­di­ana for one of his two touch­downs.

The ju­nior from New Or­leans ac­knowl­edges his num­bers could have been bet­ter.

“All the drops I had. All the missed op­por­tu­ni­ties I had,” he said when asked about where he fell short last sea­son. “I want those op­por­tu­ni­ties now.”

Mor­gan and se­nior De’Mor­nay Pier­son-El lead a un­til that will fea­ture a cou­ple of tal­ented new­com­ers in fresh­men Tyjon Lind­sey and Jaevon McQuitty, red­shirt fresh­man J.D. Spiel­man and ju­nior Keyan Williams.

“He’s not the same Stan as he was last year,” Keith Williams said. “He’s grown. He’s got­ten bet­ter. His un­der­stand­ing of the game is bet­ter. You learn from ex­pe­ri­ence, bad or good. Those ex­pe­ri­ences from last year, not mak­ing those plays, will in­spire him.”

Pier­son-El said Mor­gan has set a good ex­am­ple for re­turn­ing play­ers and new­com­ers with the way he’s gone about his busi­ness since the mar­i­juana in­ci­dent.

“He comes in ev­ery day with a high mo­tor and ready to work. You can’t ask for any­thing more,” Pier­son-El said.

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