Michigan linebacker Desmond Morgan received some good news from the NCAA Tuesday. Morgan received confirmation he will receive an extra year of eligibility to allow him to continue playing for the Wolverines in 2015.
Morgan made the announcement via Twitter and Instagram. The NCAA approved his medical hardship waiver after Morgan missed the final 11 games of Michigan’s 2014 season with a hand injury. Morgan was red-shirted by Michigan under former head coach Brady Hoke last October. The hope at the time was the NCAA would follow through by granting the senior an extra year of eligibility later on, which it has now done.
Morgan has recorded 229 tackles during his career at Michigan.
Michigan linebacker Desmond Morgan has played his final college football game in 2014, but the Wolverines are hopeful there will be more to come in 2015. The senior linebacker will miss the rest of the 2014 season with a hand injury. He has not played this season since the season opener against Appalachian State.
“Desmond Morgan, we’re going to redshirt (him) this year and he’ll be back as a fifth-year senior next year,” Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said Monday, per MLive.com. According to NCAA rules, Morgan is eligible for a medical redshirt as long as he does not play again this season. This appears to be the plan for Morgan based off Hoke’s statement.
A medical redshirt also appears to be in the works for freshman safety Jabrill Peppers, the prized recruit in Michigan’s Class of 2014 that has been sidelined with a leg injury for much of the season. It is unknown if Peppers will return to play this season or not, but he would be eligible for a medical redshirt to preserve a year of eligibility if he does not play again this fall. Peppers has been removed from the recent depth chart, but Hoke is waiting to see what his status will be for the rest of the season.
Morgan started the season as a co-starter along with Joe Bolden (he who drives stakes in his opponent’s fields) at linebacker. Morgan has started games in each season he has been in Ann Arbor.
Michigan has not been bad since Brady Hoke took over as head coach, but the Wolverines have been traveling on a downward trend as far as wins are concerned. Will the 2014 season see things turn around in Ann Arbor? Hoke seems to like his chances, suggesting the chemistry cooking this spring was something he has not seen in years.
“This team has a chemistry that I think we haven’t had in a while,” Hoke said Wednesday during an interview on SiriusXM Radio, according to MLive.com. “When you look at the different groups and the leadership, we have really a team that’s back-loaded on the freshman and sophomore class. But we’ve got some really good guys in that senior class. Jake Ryan and Frank Clark. Devin Gardner. Desmond Morgan. We’ve got some really good leadership there.”
This is a pretty important year for Hoke. As MLive.com makes note of and as I have said before, this is finally Hoke’s team. Every player who signed with Michigan did so knowing Hoke would be the head coach of the Wolverines. Now it is time to show Hoke can develop that talent — Michigan has signed top three classes in the Big Ten according to Rivals.com in three of the last four years — he has brought in and make Michigan a contender in the Big Ten. Up until now he has fallen short of the high bar he set in his debut season when he took what was left from the Rich Rodriguez all the way to a Sugar Bowl victory. Since then, the Wolverines have stumbled to a mediocre 7-6 season capped with a loss in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
“We’re better mentally, and that’s a big part of it,” Hoke said earlier this week, according to MLive.com. “We’re not exactly where we want to be yet, but I like the way our team has reacted (to last season) and how we’ve gone about our business.”
If Hoke is right, Michigan could be in the winning business. It’s basic chemistry, yo.