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
The first week of college football awards watch lists has completed and Notre Dame is well represented, We covered a few of them individually as they were announced, but with the volume of awards, felt a recap was in order. Nyles Morgan: Bednarik & Bronco Nagurski Awards Notre Dame’s star middle linebacker was named to […]
It’s that time of year: college football award watch list season. On Monday the watch list for the 2017 Bednarik Award was one of the first to be announced. Notre Dame senior linebacker Nyles Morgan’s name was among the list of 86 watch list candidates. The Bednarik Award is given annually to the best […]
At the start of spring ball I highlighted one thing from each position group on offense and defense I wanted to pay close attention to in a two post series. Over the course of 15 practices and a marathon six weeks, it’s time to revisit those aspects of the team and break down what we […]
I think we all have that friend who likes to call himself the “realist” who loves to boast of his ability to “tell it like it is.” He’s always there with a bucket of cold water to splash it on anyone who gets a little too excited about a situation that in reality could go […]
I lectured on about how much I love spring practice in part 1 of this series, so check that out if you’re like me and you can’t get enough of whatever kind of football is being played. This is a special time for the Notre Dame defense as it marks the first full spring since […]
With Signing Day all wrapped up and weeks until spring football, we’ve hit one of the dreaded lull periods on the football calendar. This year, however, there has been so much going on around the Notre Dame program that there is PLENTY for us to dive into over the next few weeks. So we called […]
The annual Notre Dame Echoes Awards banquet rarely brings much in terms of breaking news outside of a potential recruiting commitment. Last night, however, Brian Kelly’s program raised eyebrows when Notre Dame named seven captains for the 2017 season while the calendar still says 2016. Was the move a head coach on the hot seat […]
It’s generally best to predict any defense that is being led by Brian VanGorder to underwhelm and that sentiment certainly proved correct this season for a unit that finished (incredibly) at 45th in total defense. In hindsight it was a crime not to give an over/under on how many games VanGorder would last as the […]
Notre Dame used an array of big plays and some defensive adjustments at half time to momentarily stop the bleeding that was occurring during their 1-3 start. The Irish squeezed the Orange for a 50-33 and played with more juice like their head coach had pleaded with them to do. Editor’s Note: amongst all of […]
After the offensive explosion from Texas in week one, the Notre Dame defense looked like it could be a train wreck this year. Last week the Irish returned to their base defense – why they ever left it I’ll never know – and looked a lot more solid. But it was Nevada after all. What […]
The long national nightmare known as “summer” is almost over and the wait for football is coming to an end. Notre Dame kicks off its 2016 season in just a few days and the Irish will be looking to win 10 games in back to back seasons for the first time in 23 years this […]
Before we get into the doom and gloom of what would happen if something goes wrong with any of the following players, it should be noted that Notre Dame endured one of the worst runs of injuries to key players last season and finished 10-3. Just a few plays short of a playoff berth. So, […]
Over the past six weeks UHND has previewed a host of players for its annual “Now or Never” series, from quarterback Malik Zaire, wide receivers Torii Hunter and Corey Holmes, tight end Durham Smythe, running back Tarean Folston and safety Max Redfield. This week UHND concludes the series with an in-depth look at new starting […]
Every year 128 teams have a laundry list of questions surrounding their programs as fall camps kick-off across the country. For Notre Dame in 2016, their list of questions might be more like the laundry list for everyone on the block. The Irish lost seven starters on both sides of the ball, are facing yet […]
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 […]