Who is the man behind the NY Jets’ fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft? Who is James Morgan?
The team was evidently high on the FIU signal-caller, but using a fourth-round pick on a backup quarterback was never going to be a popular decision.
Nonetheless, the Jets are hoping that Morgan can be the team’s long-term solution at the backup quarterback position behind Sam Darnold. Admittedly, spending a fourth-round pick on a player that will ideally never see the field is a bit questionable.
But general manager Joe Douglas knows the importance of having a good backup quarterback. And he clearly committed to finding the Jets’ next long-term backup in Morgan.
Now, we’ve done our fair share of these already — you know the drill. We all know about Morgan’s strengths and shortcomings on the field, but who is he off the gridiron?
Who is James Morgan when he’s not playing football? And what interesting stories have paved the way for his unlikely journey to the NFL?
We take a look at the man behind the Jets’ fourth-round pick of James Morgan.
Next: 3. He grew up in Green Bay idolizing Brett Favre
3. NY Jets’ quarterback James Morgan grew up in Green Bay idolizing Brett Favre
Morgan may have gone to school (eventually) in the sunshine-filled city of Miami, Florida, but he couldn’t have played high school ball in any more different of an environment.
The 23-year-old attended Ashwaubenon High School in Green Bay, Wisconsin just down the road from the legendary Lambeau Field. And as one could imagine, Morgan was a huge Packers fan growing up.
As he’s described in multiple interviews, Morgan grew up idolizing the one and only Brett Favre even wearing his jersey number up until eighth grade. But once he got to high school, he switched numbers from No. 4 to No. 12.
That’s when Aaron Rodgers came to town.
Interestingly enough, for a city that has had its fair share of NFL legends at the quarterback position, there haven’t been many high school prospects dominating that region.
In fact, Morgan was the first quarterback from the Green Bay area to hear his name called in the NFL Draft in 32 years since the Packers selected Wisconsin’s Bud Keyes in the 10th round of the 1988 NFL Draft.
Never heard of Bud Keyes? That’s probably because he never played a game in the NFL.
Morgan will be representing local Green Bay sports when he finally suits up for his first NFL game and he’ll follow in the footsteps of his childhood idol by doing so for the Jets.
Just a bonus side note, Morgan didn’t only play football in high school. If you’ve read any of our previous articles on this topic, you’ll probably know where this is heading.
Aside from excelling in football, Morgan also ran track and…..played basketball! Who would’ve thought?
Next: 2. He aspires to be a lawyer after football
2. NY Jets’ quarterback James Morgan aspires to be a lawyer after football
The Jets opted to select Morgan in the fourth round just as much for his character as his on-field talent. While he has his flaws as a prospect, one thing that’s never been called into question is his intelligence.
And given his educational background, that seems to be for the best.
Morgan originally attended Bowling Green State University but transferred to FIU following a change in the school’s coaching staff. But he wasn’t required to sit out a year as per the NCAA’s traditional rules.
That’s because he graduated — in three years no less due to all of the Advanced Placement (AP) credits he earned in high school. And he didn’t graduate with a so-called “filler” major either.
Morgan graduated with a degree in pre-law and has aspirations of attending law school and becoming a full-time lawyer once his football career is over.
He had the following to say about his future in law in a pre-draft interview with Jordan Reid of The Draft Network.
“That’s something that once my football career is over that I want to get into. Law school is something that I’d love to get into. My aunt and grandpa were both lawyers. I really looked up to them growing up and it’s just something that thought would be really cool to get into.”
It’s easy to see why the Jets fell in love with his high character (a team captain every step of the way in high school and college) and his intelligence on and off the field.
And it’s for that reason, that Douglas believes the fourth-round selection was justified.
Next: 1. An unlikely email changed his life
1. An unlikely email changed NY Jets’ quarterback James Morgan’s life
Everyone loves an underdog story. We all love to hear about chance encounters that turn into life-altering moments.
Well, that’s exactly the type of situation that allowed Morgan to transfer to FIU.
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Morgan sent out 60 emails to 20 different teams following his decision to transfer from Bowling Green. Over a month had passed since he had sent the bulk emails out and still no reply.
Only one team would ever respond — that would be FIU.
As the story goes, FIU recruiting coordinator and former NFL quarterback Bryn Renner was set to meet with head coach Butch Davis and the rest of the FIU staff about returning players for next season and incoming recruits at 7:00 a.m. on January 3, 2018.
The school had just graduated their starting quarterback, future NFL QB Alex McGough, and Renner was tasked with finding a possible replacement. So with 30 minutes until the meeting, the former college quarterback went to check his email.
He went to his inbox and simply searched the term “quarterback.” Morgan’s email was the first to pop up — 33 days after it was originally sent. Renner immediately started doing some digging and liked what he saw on tape.
By the start of the next season, Morgan was FIU’s starting quarterback and would lead the program to a monumental upset win over their arch-rivals, Miami.
It’s funny how things have a way of working out.