Michael Johnson, the 6'7" defensive end on the other side of the Georgia Tech line, gets more of the spotlight, but inside the Jackets' program people rave about Derrick Morgan, a 6-4, 270-pound sophomore who might just get pre-season all-American honors going into next year. Morgan had 48 tackles and tied Johnson with a team-high seven sacks. Tech's D-line is as good as there is in college football this season and they'll face a very experienced bunch from LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on December 31.
Prior to the last regular season game, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution lauded the defensive line as a whole and Morgan in particular:
While Georgia held its auditions, Tech kept getting letters of recommendation. First Team All-ACC Senior defensive tackle Vance Walker was on the watch list for the Outland Trophy, the Lombardi Award and the Bednarik Award, given to the nation’s best interior lineman, defensive lineman or linebacker and defensive player, respectively. First Team All-ACC Senior defensive end Michael Johnson was up for the Bednarik as well as the Ted Hendricks Award. Second team All-ACC defensive tackle Darryl Richard is one of four finalists for the Ronnie Lott Trophy, given to the nation’s best defensive player.
And though he is just a sophomore, a consensus is growing around the team that [defensive end] Derrick Morgan, who leads the team with 6 1/2 sacks, might be better than all three of them before he is done.
plez sez: derrick morgan was the top defensive player coming out of pennsylvania two years ago (he enrolled at Tech in the spring to get a jump on his freshman season). he is big, strong, quick, nimble and he has a motor that won't quit. he is a beast on defense and will be joining michael johnson in the NFL in two years!
in addition to being a fifteen-year Georgia Tech Football season ticket holder, plezWorld is also the advisor of derrick's fraternity chapter (Kappa Alpha Psi) at georgia tech... in a word, i know him well! he is good people, a good student, a family man, and he is respectful. and he is an officer in the fraternity chapter!
i look for him to have a break out performance against LSU in the Chik-fil-A Bowl and then have a stellar junior campaign for the Yellow Jackets. next season, he will undoubtedly draw the double teams that are now being thrown at michel johnson, but he'll handle it en route to an All-ACC year.
~ ~ Citations ~ ~
Read the AJC.com article about Tech's bad ass defense.
Read the AJC.com article about Tech's All ACC Team members.