California safety DJ Morgan became the 15th commitment in the 2016 Notre Dame football class on Sunday when he offered his pledge to the Irish. The 6'3", 205 pound Morgan plays safety now and will likely begin there for Notre Dame, but could easily grow into a linebacker down the road - he's a similar profile to Drue Tranquill. The 247 Composite has him as the #452 overall player, #27 safety, and #51 player in California. Morgan was already very familiar with Notre Dame as he has family in the area and, as you may have heard, is the cousin of our very own Skylar Diggins.
Morgan always showed a lot of interest in Notre Dame but the interest wasn't reciprocated until recently; in the interim, he had committed to Arizona State and seemed fairly solid. However, he abruptly opened his recruitment back up a few weeks ago and the Irish started gaining momentum right then.
Recruiting Service Rankings
Rivals - 4 star (5.8 rating), NR overall, #22 position, #47 in California
247 - 3 star (87 rating), #589 overall, #27 position, #61 in California
ESPN - 3 star (79 rating), NR overall, #33 position, #49 in California
Scout - 3 star, NR overall, #51 position, #90 in California
247 Composite - 3 star (0.8711 rating), #452 overall, #27 position, #51 in California
In addition to Notre Dame, Morgan holds offers from Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Nebraska, Northwestern, Utah, and Vanderbilt. Smart kid, apparently...
Morgan clearly likes to mix it up - he was in coverage every so soften, but he was also in run support and just generally had a knack for being around the ball. You can see what the coaches like about him: he's tough, he's fearless, he has very good closing speed, and he times blitzes pretty well.
The one thing that came up as a possible negative was that he seems to often go for the kill shot, not wrap up the ball carrier. The staff will have to iron that out !
Count me among those who think Morgan is going to end up, sooner rather than later, at linebacker. As such, I expect him to be almost guaranteed to redshirt in 2016 and learn the ropes.
Long Term / Career
Morgan is a versatile player who works very hard; as such, I expect to see him earn a role as a contributor fairly soon. I think the comparison to Tranqull is an excellent one - a little big for a safety, a little small for an OLB, but just a football player.
Welcome to the family, DJ!