Saturday, August 6, 2016

Versatile TE David Morgan is making his mark at Vikings Camp

Photo: Luke Inman

Tight end David Morgan's versatility has been on display at Vikings training camp. The young tight end is making his mark as he continues his NFL journey. 

Updated: August 6th, 2016 3:12pm

By: Daniel House

The Vikings drafted tight end David Morgan in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. A proven run blocker and jack-of-all-trades player was the perfect fit for an offensive coordinator like Norv Turner who values tight ends in his offense. Morgan became the first prospect drafted out of UTSA since they launched their football program in 2011. During his college career, he lined up out wide, in the slot, and in the backfield. Not to mention, Pro Football Focus graded Morgan as the top run blocker in the nation, which fueled even more NFL interest. The versatility he put on display at the collegiate level caught the eye of coaches with the Minnesota Vikings. With training camp in full swing, Morgan continues to flash his run blocking skills, flexibility, and relentless physicality. He is lining up all over the field and clearly will play a role in the Minnesota offense this season.

Morgan is entering his first training camp in the NFL and so far is pleased with the results.

“It’s obviously my first [training camp], so everything is new to me, but it has gone well. It has run very smoothly so far. I’ve enjoyed it and I’m happy to be out with these guys and to get a chance to play,” Morgan said.

The rookie tight has the opportunity to learn from Pat Shurmur, a coach who has immense experience in the NFL. Shumur not only has the knowledge to coach the tight end position, but his previous tenure as a head coach and offensive coordinator is a huge asset to the team. Morgan sees Shurmur’s knowledge as a valuable resource for a young player like him who is adjusting to the rigors of the NFL.

“When you know your position and you know what to do, it is easy, but [Shurmur] can coach the whole game,” Morgan explained. “When you understand everything that’s going on, it makes it a lot easier. He has done a good job of helping me out.”

Morgan has the potential to be a very useful asset in the Vikings offense. His position flexibility and run blocking skills will nicely complement the likes of Kyle Rudolph, MyCole Pruitt, and Rhett Ellison. Morgan is ready to play any spot on the field to help the team.

“Whatever they ask me to do, I’m going to do,” Morgan stated.

Morgan is adjusting to the speed and physicality of the NFL, but it’s clear the new style of play fits within his skill-set. He blocks until the whistle and flashes his pass-catching abilities in traffic. The adjustment to the NFL hasn’t been too much for the young tight end.

“It’s the NFL now; it’s not college ball. Everyone out here is professionals and they are bigger, stronger, and faster than they were at the college level,” Morgan smiled. “Obviously, the physicality and the speed of the game is big, but it is not too much to handle, so I’ve embraced it a lot.”

As David Morgan adjusted to the rigors of professional football, he relied on his agent Ben Hartsock for advice. Hartsock played in the NFL for 10 seasons, most notably with the Carolina Panthers. Morgan was the first UTSA player drafted, so he didn’t have many people he could ask for advice. Having Hartsock as a resource was a major key to a seamless transition for the young tight end.

“[Hartsock] kind of gave me the low down on everything. He did the East-West Shrine game, he did the combine, and he did all of that stuff,” Morgan said. “No one at UTSA has really had that path yet, so I had no one to really seek to. It was really cool to have him and have him coach me up along the way.”

Morgan continues to represent UTSA as Roadrunner fans follow his journey in the NFL. He keeps in contact with those who have supported him along his journey. Morgan said he updates them when he has the chance.

“The fan base [at UTSA] is awesome. I made it a priority to go out and be friendly with my fans and stuff like that because they support us so much. Any chance I have to give them an update, I do,” Morgan said.

The rookie tight end is set to begin his NFL career with a preseason game in Cincinnati next week. He is just thankful for the opportunity to play the game he loves. Working within a system that predicates the use of tight ends is just an added bonus.

“It’s fun to be an offense where they use tight ends in different ways,” Morgan explained.

As David Morgan embarks on a new journey, it seems like this is just the beginning for a talented, versatile, tight end who has made his mark early in training camp.

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