Bellflower (Calif.) St John Bosco 2016 safety/receiver D.J. Morgan is ready to step up in a big way for his high school team.
Morgan, a 2016 recruit, spent last season learning from a few of the most talented secondary players in the country, who signed scholarships to play in the Pac-12.
Now, it's Morgan's turn.
"I'm working on being more of a team leader, stepping up, taking a bigger role," said Morgan. "Last year with Jaleel [Wadood], Naijiel [Hale], and Chandler Hawkins I didn't really have to take much of a big role because it was pretty much their team, so I just stepped in, filled in wherever I needed to. This year I'm going to try to take a bigger role."
The 6-foot-3 197-pound athlete will play on both sides of the ball this season for the Braves. At the collegiate level, he's open to playing on either side of the ball, though has his preferences.
"I like playing defense," he said. "I like to hit. But if they need me on offense, I'll also do that. I can catch, run good routes, and I'm not afraid to block if they need me.
"I'd like to either play safety or play linebacker [in college], or if possible be a big receiver."
The Commodore offer came his freshman season from James Franklin's staff. Franklin has since taken the job at Penn State. Morgan says he hasn't heard from the Nittany Lions and contact with the new Vanderbilt staff has been minimal.
He says he hasn't had much contact with Utah since picking up the offer.
One of those programs stands out among the rest.
"I'm very interested in Notre Dame," Morgan explained. "They're very interested in me. I have a good history with Notre Dame. My cousin is actually [former Irish basketball player] Skylar Diggins, so Notre Dame is a big time school for me. Plus my mother's family is from South Bend (Ind.) so I'll see a lot of family out there.
"I feel like [Notre Dame] is close [to offering], I think they just want to see a little bit more of me just on the field and in the game speed mentality, that kind of atmosphere."
Locally, Morgan says both UCLA and USC are monitoring his progress.
"I am hearing from Coach [Adrian] Klemm of UCLA and also Coach [Demetrice Martin]. They came up here the other day – they've seen film. They are impressed with what I have but want to see more.
"With USC, they were up here on our college day. One of the coaches was filming me while we were practicing, so hopefully that offer comes soon."
He is an Honor Roll student at St. John Bosco.