The Union Recorder

October 26, 2012

JMA’s Cooper Morgan earns Athlete of the Week

Kyle Collins
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Some people judge success differently. Numbers don’t often live up to personal goals, even if figures leap off the page.

John Milledge Academy’s Cooper Morgan demonstrated everything about the drive for perfection last Friday against Briarwood. His coach, J.T. Wall had to pull Morgan to the side after several successful carries to unassuming eyes.

The senior tailback looked bothered by some missed opportunities to roll further through the defense. Wall said Morgan yearns for perfection at every practice and on every game time carry.

Morgan’s five touchdowns on 13 carries for 182 yards earned him a second Athlete of the Week nod.

“The kid is so special about the way he goes about his business. I look at the stats and say ‘wow he had that many yards’,” Wall said. “He is getting it. Cooper has really grown in four years.”

Morgan started at his current position as a freshman and suffered through a winless season. Health always held Morgan a bit from really breaking out.

Smaller rosters forced Morgan to play countless positions on offense, defense and special teams his sophomore and junior years. The lumps came with the territory being a true all-purpose player by necessity.

“Now a days playing one position is good. I know that offense is where I am most needed,” Morgan said. “We have people to fill those positions.”

Wall said his versatility bodes well for some special assignments in the playoffs.

A healthy Morgan continues a torrid pace through eight games. 137 carries for 1,141 yards and 18 touchdowns is worthy of coaching admiration.

Wall owns the school record of 2,143 rushing yards, but would be the happiest man on campus if Morgan found a way to pass him this season.

“It’s a big goal for me. I want to get there. At the same point, it’s a pretty high margin he (Wall) set. He was in his day the best running back JMA has ever seen,” Morgan said.

The Trojan head coach said Morgan is a lot more laid back than he was years ago.

“Cooper approaches the game different. Not a whole lot affects him,” Wall said.

Morgan comprehends the game, allowing the staff to throw more his way. An undefeated record lets the entire team get exposed further into the playbook with the star tailback the catalyst.

“Once they understand why you call this play in this situation, that’s when you start seeing guys succeed at this level,” Wall said. “He (Morgan) could make audibles at tailback.”

Look for more tremendous numbers from the Athlete of the Week and fellow seniors tonight.