In his sixth season at Arkansas, Grant Morgan has been through it all. He’s experienced how Arkansas has changed over the years with a revolving door of coaches. And he remembers them all.
“Coach (Vernon) Hargreaves (coached linebackers) for two years and then coach (John) Chavis for two years. Coach (Rion) Rhodes and then coach (Michael) Scherer. (Defensive coordinators) were coach Rob Smith, Coach Paul Rhodes, coach John Chavis and then coach (Barry) Odom. Head coaches were (Bret) Bielema, coach (Chad) Morris, coach (Barry) Lunney, coach (Sam) Pittman,” smiled Morgan.
Morgan took something away from each coach and applied it to his game. He entered the program as a walk-on and is now the heart and soul of the Razorbacks.
Morgan said at SEC Media Days that he could have tried to enter the NFL after last season, but decided to come back to Arkansas because of the last coach on that long list, Sam Pittman.
“I just saw the type of guy he was and I knew I wanted to play for him,” Morgan said of Pittman. “That’s what I chose to come back and play for and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
And neither would the Hogs, they have their team captain for another year.
“Grant makes my job very easy,” said linebackers coach Michael Scherer. I know if I say, ‘Hey Grant, get the guys together, do this, this, this and this, it’s going to get done. It’s going to get done right… Grant is not only the leader of our room, he’s the leader of our team.”
Six years at Arkansas, Morgan has seen all those coaches come and go, but on Monday he experienced something at Arkansas that he never has before when hanging out with the linebackers after practice.
“We were all playing pool, sitting there and talking and (Bumper Pool) looked at me – and there was probably 60 or 70 people just hanging out in our media room,” Morgan recalled. “(Pool) looked at me and he said, ‘this is the closest our team has ever been.’ I looked at him and said, ‘you know what? This is my sixth year here and I’ve never seen this before.’ And I was like, ‘this is pretty cool to see.'”
Morgan believes it’s that unique team chemistry that will help propel Arkansas to success this year. And who knows, maybe year six will have more surprises in store for Morgan.