Morgan preparing to play 4 positions as all-star game nears

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 13, 2002

[06/13/02]Brett Morgan did not prepare for Saturday’s Mississippi-Alabama All-Star football game by throwing footballs to receivers, or watching game film.

He’s building pools.

The Mississippi State-bound quarterback has been working 13-hour days leading up to this week.

Saturday, though, should be more than just a leisurely swim. Game time is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be on Fox SportSouth.

“I’ve been running, mainly,” Morgan said. “I know it’s going to be hot and humid in Mobile, so I’m just trying to get after it.”

One of the reasons he hasn’t been practicing on the football field is because he doesn’t know where he will play. Coaches Greg Wall of South Pike and Roy McCrory of Columbus have said they’d use Morgan all over the field.

“They had me playing some strong safety in practice, but I feel like I’ll probably end up at free safety,” said Morgan, who guided Warren Central to an 8-5 record and garnered first-team all-state honors. “I’m also punting and holding.”

And quarterback?

“Coach McCrory said they may use me at quarterback depending on how things go,” Morgan said.

Aries Nelson of Cleveland East Side and Ken Topps of Shannon are listed as the team’s two quarterbacks, but Morgan has been working under center with the first team during practices this week. In all, eight players on the Mississippi roster signed with the Bulldogs.

In addition to Morgan, the Mississippi all-stars will have Warren Central’s Jay Branning, but in a different role.

Branning, the team’s equipment manager, will be one of two managers for the Mississippi team.

The all-star game will run a little differently than a normal game. The defenses have to line up in a 5-2 defensive front alignment, can’t stunt or line up in the splits in the offensive line and will not be able to blitz.

“Defense won’t be hard to learn at all,” Morgan said. “You put 11 guys out there and run to the ball. Our offense will be tough as far as jelling.”

Morgan’s Vikings did not play Columbus, but lost to eventual Class 4A state runner up, South Pike, 7-0, in Magnolia.

Morgan was a triple-threat his senior season at Warren Central. He completed 85 of 177 passes for 1,156 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had a rushing touchdown in a triple-overtime win against rival Clinton to help lift WC into the playoffs.

On defense, he made 38 tackles, had an interception and recovered a fumble. He played almost every down of every game late in the season. His punting average of 38.3 yards was best in the county.

He’ll be joined in Mobile by most of his family, including both brothers Rob and Josh who were all-stars after their senior seasons. Josh, the starting safety for Mississippi State, played safety in the Mississippi-Alabama game and Rob quarterbacked in the Bernard Blackwell All-Star game, which pits the in-state North all-stars against the South.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Morgan, who will be wearing No. 12 instead of his usual 4. “When my number’s called, I’ll go out and do my best.”