This series of articles will break down the Red Raiders roster approaching the 2017 season. Staff members selected their top-15 players currently on the roster and for each one of them there will be a profile with basic information, videos and expectations.
Position: Defensive Back
Weight: 205 pounds
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina
The fifth player on the list is also the third defensive back, and that makes you think that Texas Tech is building a good unit. Sure it is, and there’s (spoiler) one more member of the secondary who made the cut. Who is he? A bit of patience, please, the offseason is still long.
Let’s concentrate on Octavious Morgan, who has not played a snap in a Red Raiders uniform yet but falls just outside the top-10.
Morgan was a respected player in high school in South Carolina, where he won a state title, and was one of the heroes of this achievement. He was also selected for the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl. Nevertheless, he did not attend a D1 school but instead he went to Butler Community College, in Kansas.
Talent is talent everywhere, and Morgan made strides in this context and his work was appreciated by the major recruiting services: ESPN ranked him as the No. 18 JuCo player of the nation and the fourth cornerback, and Scout.com ranked him as the No. 14 JuCo player of the country and the third cornerback. Morgan was recruited by many universities and chose Texas Tech over, among others, Iowa State, Arkansas, Baylor, Missouri, Louisville, and West Virginia.
Alongside D.J. Polite-Bray and Douglas Coleman, Morgan will lead the defensive backs after one of the worst seasons in Texas Tech history in passing defense, as the 315.8 yards/game allowed were the 125th in the FBS system (out of 128). Moreover, the 554.3 total yards allowed were the last in the country.
Morgan is a strong defender, with a good size and above average athleticism: according to the coaching staff, he excelled in spring training, and showed an unknown speed that allowed him to pair with the fastest receivers on the team. Last but not least, he is an outstanding ball chaser, as he has an innate ability to break up passes and creates turnovers. Sounds like what the doctor ordered for Tech’s defense.