SHERWOOD, Wis. (WBAY) - James Morgan's NFL journey is underway after the Jets came calling in the 4th round of the NFL Draft last week.
The former Ashwaubenon High School star is still letting reality sink in with his dreams coming true.
The Morgan family is still on Cloud 9 at their Sherwood home. James knew that quite a few NFL teams were interested in taking him on Day 3 of the draft, but he was still unprepared for the emotion of the moment when the call came from Jets GM Joe Douglas.
"It was awesome to get the call from him," Morgan said. "He was on the line first, then he handed it off to the owner, and then the OC, and then I think Coach Gase afterwards. But by that point I was getting swarmed by everybody (in my family) so it was kind of hard to differentiate who was talking. Yeah, there definitely was some of it that was just surreal a little bit. Just hearing the phone ring. When they finally pulled the trigger and the phone rang I was just so excited and everybody was excited around me too."
Morgan has always felt he had this potential. He was the 25th rated quarterback in the nation in his high school class, yet never got major college offers. But now, after his meandering route from Bowling Green to FIU, Morgan was the 7th quarterback taken in his draft class, proving that the NFL will find you if you have the talent.
"I think they do a great job finding (talent), wherever it's at," Morgan said. "I felt a big chip on my shoulder coming from high school and not having those offers, and then in college I tried to make a name for myself and I am thankful that they noticed. Honestly my whole mentality was that it didn't matter where I came from or what I had been through, I just need one team to take a chance on me. And I am ready to prove them right and other people wrong."
There's a lot of perspective to be gained from such a journey, and this may help hammer it all home. In the fall of 2017, as Morgan was losing his starting job at Bowling Green, and emailing 60 coaches nationwide trying to transfer, there was a certain freshman quarterback at Georgia (Jake Fromm) leading his team to the national title game. Yet here, just over two years later, Morgan was the one who was drafted first.
"I do think it is a marathon," Morgan said. "It's not a sprint. There are going to be a lot of bumps in the road as we talked about at the Combine. They kind of prepare you for what is next to come. That is kind of my mentality through this whole process. Everything that I went through put me in the place I am in today. It refined my confidence and built a desire in myself to go achieve my goals. Now that I have gotten to the NFL that is not going to stop. I am going to keep getting better and never be satisfied."
Moving forward now? Morgan is waiting to get his new playbook, and getting ready for a virtual offseason with the Jets amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.