Syracuse wasn’t the first school to recruit Wayne Morgan and it wasn’t the last. But it was where the Erasmus Hall star quarterback/cornerback felt most comfortable.
“I’ve been talking to the coaches for about two and a half, three years, so I was already comfortable with the coaches,” Morgan told MSG Varsity in an exclusive interview Tuesday morning. “I knew most of the players already. I liked the campus, everything about it.”
That was the biggest reason why Morgan will sign a National Letter of Intent Wednesday with the Orange instead of the University of Connecticut or Penn State, which showed initial interest two years ago and made a late charge.
“[Penn State] was too late,” Morgan said. “I was almost finished with the process and then they came in and gave me a call. I didn’t want to go through all that thinking again, give myself a headache and stress myself out.”
Morgan said he fell in love with Syracuse on his official visit in December, where close friend and former Fort Hamilton standout Brandon Reddish was his host. Morgan, who was the city’s most highly touted recruit, is just the latest city gridiron star to sign with Syracuse, which bills itself as “New York’s college team,” under head coach Doug Marrone, a Bronx native.
“It’s real big because I’m going to be part of something that is extraordinary,” Morgan said. “Going to a Division I school with guys from the city, that’s a great job right there. I just want to compete and do the best I can when I get there.”
Morgan will also join Tottenville star receiver Alvin Cornelius, who will also sign a National Letter of Intent Wednesday to play with the Orange.
“He’s a great player, he was a handful,” Morgan said. “I think we made the right decision coming to this school. He’s one of the top players in the city also so I feel good coming in with another guy from the city.”
Morgan, a Semper Fidelis All-American said he took a visit to UConn last week, but didn’t have the same feeling as when he stepped on the Syracuse campus.
“I liked UConn, I liked the coaches and appreciated that they showed me a lot of love,” Morgan said. “I felt more comfortable at Syracuse.”
Morgan, who was named to MSG Varsity’s All-City first team in December, was a four-year starter for the Dutchmen. While he earned his “Lights Out” nickname at cornerback, Morgan also threw for 773 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 600 yards and six more scores as a senior.
More importantly than stats, Morgan put Erasmus Hall back on the map, leading the Dutchmen to the PSAL title game at Yankee Stadium where they fell to Brooklyn rival Lincoln, 20-12.
“Even though I didn’t reach the highest point in my goals, I still did a lot of work,” Morgan said. “We turned the program around, the class that came in with me. I basically did what I was supposed to do when I came in the building.”
Morgan helped build a football powerhouse at Erasmus. Now he hopes to do the same in Syracuse, where he’s been told he’ll have a chance to play in a nickel package and on special teams as a freshman.
But for now Morgan is just happy the recruiting process, which he called a “thousand-pound weight” is off his shoulders and that he has achieved a lifelong dream.
“I’ve been working for this all my life,” Morgan said. “I used to look up to the older guys and would see them signing the papers and going to college. I just wanted to do the same thing. There’s no words. I’m just overwhelmed.”
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