The future is now for Stanley Morgan.
It’s not every day a person gets the chance to boost their reputation in the eye of hundreds of evaluators. But that’s exactly what the former Nebraska receiver can do this weekend as he navigates the biggest interview of his life — the NFL combine.
The first Husker to top 1,000 receiving yards in a single season and the only one invited to this year’s event in Indianapolis went through interviews, medical exams and measurements Thursday. Friday includes bench pressing, media obligations and taking the Wonderlic test. The on-field workout is Saturday, with the quarterback/receiver/tight end portion broadcast on the NFL Network and ABC.
“Ready for these pros,” Morgan said during the Outland Trophy dinner in Omaha in January. “This is a different level.”
Morgan has been training in Calabasas, California, in the offseason with touted prospects like LSU cornerback Greedy Williams and NC State receiver Kelvin Harmon. It’s a different vibe than previous winters — “way different,” he said — because the focus is all on himself instead of working with teammates. He never ran 40-yard dashes at Nebraska, so refining that sprint to showcase his speed has been a priority. Increased strength has been another point of emphasis as has displaying his agility in the three-cone drill.
“It’s like going back to the bottom of the barrel,” Morgan said. “You gotta work your way up.”
The pre-draft reports are out on the 6-foot, 202-pound wide receiver who measures a 9-7/8-inch hand, 32-3/8-inch arm and 78-1/8-inch wingspan. CBS Sports ranks him 217th overall on one list, which would make him a late-round draft pick.
Athlon Sports says his stock “is the result of being able to do everything that the position requires well, but none of it at an elite level.” The breakdown adds that he could still have a productive NFL career with his mix of good hands, solid route-running ability, above-average speed and high football IQ.
Morgan took over Nebraska’s all-time record for receiving yards (2,747) last fall and caught a pass in a 38th straight game to pass Johnny Rodgers’ previous best mark. His career catches (189) represent a Husker high as well.
“Stanley is one of those special guys I hope I keep in touch with for the rest of my life,” Nebraska coach Scott Frost said after the Iowa game. “He’s a warrior. He’s always ready to compete.
“… He’s gonna fight to the end with you and the best thing about Stan is he’s always going to be in a good mood and loves the game and has fun doing what he’s doing. He’s been a great Husker and this place will miss him.”
Morgan said in November he planned to take online classes for one more semester in order to graduate with a degree in child, youth and family studies. He turned down the chance to go pro after his junior year.
A New Orleans native, Morgan named the Saints and Seattle Seahawks among NFL teams who have expressed interest through emails and questionnaires. He’ll get the chance to intrigue many others with a standout weekend.
“Just going out there and giving it my all every day the Nebraska way,” Morgan said, “it’s going to lead me to bigger things beyond football, in life.”