Freshman Season (2014) – Nyles Morgan cracked the two deep depth chart at linebacker before the start of his freshman season, but found playing time to be scarce until Joe Schmidt’s injury against Navy thrust him into the starting lineup and forced the Notre Dame defense to lean heavily on the true freshman. Following his insertion in the lineup Morgan showed both signs of being an elite linebacker and the growing pains of being a true freshman in a defense that relies heavily on its linebackers.
Despite only starting four games throughout the 2014 season, Morgan was 7th on the team in tackles with 47 after posting three straight performances of 10 or more tackles in a row to end the regular season. Morgan was able to do so even though he missed the first half of the USC game following his targeting ejection in the Louisville game.
While Morgan’s tackle total was impressive in limited action, his play was also marred by the plays he didn’t make. As a true freshman, opposing offenses targeted the talented but green backer often and many times were able to get him out of position. As a result, opposing running backs often found open lanes where Morgan was meant to be.
Despite the struggles, Morgan showcased enough of the skills that made him a 5-star linebacker by Scout and resulted in Freshman All-American honors. A more prominent role for Morgan looks very likely with Brian Vangorder and Brian Kelly likely hoping they can get Morgan, Joe Schmidt, and Jaylon Smith all on the field at the same time.
Recruiting – A somewhat local product out of the Chicago area, Morgan was widely considered a lean for Notre Dame for the months leading up to his commitment. It took until the US Army All-American Bowl for Morgan to make his decision, but once he did he became the cornerstone of the Notre Dame defensive class.
Nyles Morgan News
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Following my latest installment, which ranked the top 11 players on the Notre Dame defense, the response was near unanimous: the defense is in big trouble. Writing it, I hadn’t quite thought of it that way, it was more about the process of selecting who Notre Dame’s best players were on that side of the […]
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As a Southern California resident, there are not many people around here who obsess over Notre Dame football quite like myself. Sure, there are a lot of fans in this area–there is always a strong turnout when the Irish take on the team that shall not be mentioned– but not many who follow the ins […]