The season didn’t start like Jalen Morgan had planned, but the Alexander sophomore has more than made up for it.
Morgan, a wide receiver, sustained a concussion in an automobile accident at the beginning the season that sidelined him for the first four games.
Once he got back on the playing field, he showed the talented that made him a standout athlete at Factory Shoals Middle.
Morgan has at least 100 receiving yards in the last four games as the Cougars prepare to take on Harrison tonight in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs in Acworth.
“Everything has been going good since I got back to playing,” Morgan said. “It was just a minor setback.”
In his first game back against New Manchester, Morgan scored a touchdown on a kickoff return. He has two kickoff returns for scores and five receiving touchdowns.
“I’m just doing what I can to help the offense,” Morgan said. “I wasn’t too frustrated in not being able to play, but I’m definitely happy to be out there.”
Morgan credits Cougars wide receiver coach Kyle Sanders for helping prepare him for the varsity level.
As a middle schooler, Morgan played both wide receiver and quarterback at Factory Shoals. He helped lead them to a county championship.
“Coach Sanders has definitely helped me with my routes,” Morgan said. “He has helped me understand what it takes to play on the varsity level.”
And Morgan has quickly picked that teaching up.
In a 21-20 overtime loss to Langston Hughes, Morgan really came into his own. He finished the game with 144 yards and a touchdown on 10 receptions.
He has four straight games of at least 100 yards receiving, including a career-best 13 receptions for 228 yards and two touchdown in last week’s loss to Douglas County.
Heading into tonight’s first round Class AAAAAA contest at Harrison, the former Factory Shoals Middle standout has 686 yards and five touchdowns on 43 receptions.
He is second in the region in receiving yards behind teammate Michiah Randolph, who has 881 yards and eight touchdowns on 51 receptions.
Morgan is also averaging 34.4 yards on eight kickoff returns. He has scored a touchdown in every game he has played in with two coming on kickoff returns.
“Rae-Rae is our go-to guy,” Morgan said. “He has also been very helpful to me in getting prepared for the varsity level.”