Although it has been seven years since he took the field at Arkansas, former All-SEC wide receiver Drew Morgan is very familiar with the current Razorback coaching regime and has offered his insight and expectations.
Morgan played his final two seasons as a starter in offensive coordinator Dan Enos’ system, and was thrilled to see his former coach return to the same position for the Hogs this season.
“We really started clicking when Enos came in,” Morgan said of the new hire in 2015. “Enos figured it out. We might have been down at offensive line, or we might have been down at receiver, but Enos figured out how to work with the puzzle pieces that he had, and made it work.
“I think through the first two games this season, they are still trying to figure out their identity, but I think that goes for a lot of teams through the first two weeks. The fact that we don’t have Rocket (Sanders) right now just makes it a little tougher.”
Morgan also spent three years with now-head coach Sam Pittman as the offensive line coach, and remembers how much energy and leadership Pittman brought to the entire team.
“He always had a smile on his face and he always enjoyed Arkansas,” said Morgan, who is beginning his third season as an assistant coach at Elkins High School. “He would always say, ‘Arkansas is the best damn job in the world.’ And I would have to second that.”
A 2013 graduate of Greenwood, Morgan continues to have a special place in his heart for the state and for the Razorback faithful.
“The state of Arkansas has shown me nothing but love,” he said. “We really do have the best fan base. And I have been able to attend games at a lot of other schools. I always like seeing the atmosphere at other places, but there is none like Arkansas.”
Although Pittman was not his position coach, Morgan was roommates with offensive linemen Dan Skipper and Reeve Koehler, and closely witnessed the impact the coach had on his players.
“The players are a direct reflection of their coach, and those linemen were tough, gritty and mean — which is what you want out of your offensive line,” he said. “And from the period that he left (in 2016), until the period that he came back (in 2020), I just didn’t feel like we had that anymore. Now, to see him back, it’s a night-and-day difference. And he’s just going to keep recruiting those hosses up front.”
Morgan thrived under Enos as a junior and senior, hauling in 128 passes over those two seasons, for 1,582 yards and 13 touchdowns. In his first SEC start in 2015, he tallied eight catches for 155 yards and a touchdown against Texas A&M. He then had two TDs, including the game-winner, in a four-overtime win against Auburn that same season.
He admits that he is not too familiar with the current Arkansas receiving corps, with the exception of freshman Isaiah Sategna, who he coached for one season at Fayetteville High in 2019.
“We all kind of know what Isaiah is capable of doing, and after watching him in the spring game earlier this year, I don’t think there is a single person who can run with him on a football field. But that’s just me and my confidence in him,” Morgan said. “I can see him physically developing more during his sophomore, junior, seniors years, and being able to run just as fast with a little more size. I think he has the ability to develop into a phenomenal route-runner and become that next Tyreek Hill-type player. If he can really just buy into that.”
Morgan, who spent two seasons on the Miami Dolphins practice squad, has liked what little he has seen from the other new Razorback receivers, thus far, but will hold true judgement until he sees them compete against stiffer SEC competition.
“I’ve got full trust in Enos, because if he can do something with a guy like me, then he can surely do something with those guys,” Morgan said, with a laugh. “He is going to make the most with what he has, I can tell you that.”
“But it will show me a lot if those guys can put up numbers and help their team win, by catching the big balls against the big opponents.”
Morgan earned his reputation as a hard-working, no-nonsense baller on the field. He now offers some words advice for today’s players, in the modern world of social media.
“The biggest thing that I would tell a lot of those SEC receivers is that, if you are going to Instagram, Tik-Tok all your footwork stuff, you better show me a few clips on actual game film, too,” he said. “I don’t care how quick you’re feet are. I want to see you catch a ball.”