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PSN Exclusive: DE John Morgan on Transferring from Pitt: ‘It Would Be Wrong of Me to Stay’

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John Morgan has seen and experienced a lot during his five years with the Pitt Panther football program, but that run will come to an end after the 2022 season.

The pass-rushing defensive end from Upper Marlboro, Maryland has been a part of 40 Pitt wins, has been a member of a Pitt defense that’s been near the top of college football on a yearly basis in sacks and most importantly, was a key member of Pitt’s first ever ACC Championship winning team.

Despite being at Pitt for five seasons, because of COVID, Morgan had the opportunity to return for a sixth season. That seemed like a real possibly, with the graduation of Deslin Alexandre and the likely departure of Haba Baldonado for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Morgan returning seemed a likelihood, but that’s not going to happen. Morgan told Pittsburgh Sports Now that he’s made the difficult decision to leave Pitt and enter the ever-growing NCAA transfer portal.

“Honestly, a lot of factors went into it,” said Morgan. “First off, I understood that if I wasn’t able to have a COVID year that I would be taking my talents to the NFL. Also, I’ve been in the position of the guys behind me’s shoes, where guys ahead of me decided to come back for fifth and sixth years. Understanding that you want to play and feel like it’s your time to play. Being a team guy, I understand that feeling. I just feel like I will have the chance to take my talent elsewhere, which will give some of our younger guys, some of the guys that are from the area that have been waiting for the opportunity, to get on the field sooner. I feel like it would be wrong of me to stay another year and hold back those guys from that opportunity.”

Some of the younger guys that Morgan is referring to are Dayon Hayes, Nahki Johnson, Jimmy Scott, Nate Temple and Samuel Okunlola. This decision is something Morgan has been contemplating with his family and made the final decision earlier in the week. Before making things public, he sat down and informed both his position coach Charlie Partridge and head coach Pat Narduzzi.

Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman John Morgan III (6) September 24, 2022 David Hague/PSN

“I talked with Coach Partridge and Coach Narduzzi, and it was definitely a shock to them and something that they didn’t expect, especially a guy that’s been here for five years to enter the portal,” Morgan said. “But, once I explained to them what my reasoning was, they were definitely on board with my decision because at the end of the day, they understand that sometime certain situations don’t work out for everybody. They both told me that if there’s anything that they could do to help me in the process to please don’t hesitate to ask. I appreciate that because our relationship has been great for my five years here.”

Morgan ends his Pitt career with 76 career tackles, 14.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. His best statistical season came in the 2021 ACC-title winning season, as he registered 26 tackles and 5.5 sacks.

The 6-foot-2, 265-pound defensive end has been a member of the Pitt program for a long time, having originally committed to Narduzzi back on June 4, 2017. During that five-year span, Morgan has piled up memories that will last a lifetime.

“Really the growth that I saw during my five years with the program,” said Morgan. “Coming in as freshman, it was a totally different team. Being able to play with a plethora of talented players that have gone onto the NFL and guys that have left here to go do great things outside of football. I can honestly say that me making the decision coming out of high school to come to Pitt was one of the best decisions that I ever made. During my time here, I’ve met a lot of people that I will always remember and great things that I experienced that I will always remember regardless of where my next journey takes me. I can honestly say that the people of Pittsburgh and people at Pitt have put me in a great position going forward.”

Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman John Morgan III (6) September 24, 2022 David Hague/PSN

“Coming into Pitt, I think our record the year before was like 5-7. From there we won a championship, played in bowl games and finished my last year here 8-4. That’s something that I definitely will never forget. I’ve been a part of a program where we were ranked, plus our defense has led the country in sacks that past couple of years. It’s a blessing to having been a part of that. I’ll never forget my times working with Coach Partridge and Coach Bates and making this defense great.”

So, what’s next for Morgan? With one year left, what’s he going to be looking for specifically in the next team that he chooses to play for?

“Mostly a school that can put me in a position that I can get after the quarterback,” said Morgan. “Whatever school can put me in the best scenario, whether that means go against schools that throw the ball downfield. I feel like in today’s age of football, the RPO offense is making it hard for pass rushers to get off the edge and get to the quarterback to show off their talents. I want to go somewhere that you know what you’re going to get out of the opposing offenses, like drop back and throw the ball in a pro setting.

“I want to be able to show off all of the hard work that I’ve put in over these last five years with Coach Partridge and Coach Bates and really be able to hone in on my game and have the chance to wreck games. I see myself as a game changer when I have the opportunity to go one-on-one against a tackle and get to the opposing quarterback.”

Die-Hards: Pitt Offseason Player Movement Tracker

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Jane
Jane
1 month ago

College sports will never be the same again….

Pittband
Pittband
1 month ago

Sure makes me proud to have John Morgan as a graduate. Great luck in your future endeavors.

Joseph Barr
Joseph Barr
1 month ago

Appreciate John’s comments but fact is that he wants to go to defence where he will be “the guy” that never comes off the field. I guess PITT rotates their linemen just enough for John to think he can be in a better situation. His NFL status would not be negatively affected by staying at PITT but guys will do what is most “exciting” for themselves these days. I think LB Cam Bright in part left for the same reason after ’21 season

Pittband
Pittband
1 month ago
Reply to  Joseph Barr

He left for the $$$$$.

David Jones
David Jones
1 month ago

Translation; it’s all about ME. ME. ME

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
1 month ago

Might go to PSU for Manny Diaz

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
1 month ago

He said he wants to play for Syfo-Dyas. Where he is Morgan will follow.

Brad Shaw
Brad Shaw
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed Rose

The PSU weirdo will not get the Star Wars reference he is too stupid.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
1 month ago
Reply to  Brad Shaw

people throwing out star wars references calling others “weirdo”?

Brad Shaw
Brad Shaw
1 month ago

Weird is commenting on a Pitt fan site as a PSU troll. There is more to life than PSU football, the Creamery and acute pedophilia. PSU and Star Wars were both relevant at the same time in the 70s and 80s.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
1 month ago
Reply to  Brad Shaw

duzz knew at MSU and you can beat women at pitt, punishment is just some tough workouts.
PSU is always relevant, as proven by the 110k fans every weekend at their own on-campus stadium. pitt is one year removed from an acc championship with no buzz, no recruits and back to 20k fans in a stadium they rent from an NFL team.
#h2p!

Sharon
Sharon
1 month ago

Morgan is a liar about why he is leaving. . He is going to whoever pays the most money. It’s all about money. I would respect him more if he were honest.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
1 month ago
Reply to  Sharon

or Duzz told him to move on

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
1 month ago

I told you to move on from this site, but you have not listened. Maybe we can tell Narduzzi or as you call him Duzz tell you to move on.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed Rose

Wait, you told me to leave? If you say so…….nope!
#h2p
#patsignal
#duzz

Jane
Jane
1 month ago

🤡

John Wad
John Wad
1 month ago

Duzz can’t get 2 stars to commit I doubt that take

Ed Rose
Ed Rose
1 month ago
Reply to  John Wad

Dumb comment. Might have a Wad for a brain.

Exiled
Exiled
1 month ago
Reply to  Sharon

Who’s going to pay this guy?

Student section
Student section
1 month ago

Morgan wants to rush the passer? Pitt runs a defense that gives him a better chance to rush the passer than anywhere else.
Morgan is leaving for the almighty dollar.
I hope it backfires on him.

Fjb
Fjb
1 month ago

He’s leaving an aggressive Pitt defense where, He would surely start, in hopes of finding an aggressive defense where playing time is likely not guaranteed. Got it.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
1 month ago
Reply to  Fjb

or Duzz told him to leave

Brad Shaw
Brad Shaw
1 month ago

Who is Duzz?

Rooster
Rooster
1 month ago

What a noble deed, leaving YOUR team in order to provide an opportunity for an underclassman. Yeah right. I smell a rat. This free agency is ruining college football.

Dave
Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Rooster

Ya doesn’t make sense. By that logic, he would be jumping in front of someone waiting in the wings at another school. I think he is afraid of being passed up on pitt’s roster and ruining his chance at the nfl

Dave
Dave
1 month ago

Some team recruited him with nil money. USC?

Burton Tee
Burton Tee
1 month ago

If I recall correctly, a big deal was made about his loyalty in returning for this past season. He’s been at Pitt for several seasons, so I do t mind him leaving at this point, but which is it John? Loyalist or Opportunist?

He are stacked at his position so Pitt won’t skip a beat.

H2P.

Exiled
Exiled
1 month ago

Translation: it’s too hard here. I don’t want to put in the work to be great.
If you were going to the NFL you’d already be there.

Pittband
Pittband
1 month ago

The more I look at the transfer portal the more I like it. The HC can fine tune his needs (still no women HCs), jettison those who didn’t live up to expectations, and those who were a distraction. The kids benefit too. They see programs which have a specific need for their skills. And there is the NIL dollar.
BTW, didn’t see JA on the podium for the Biletnikoff ceremony.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
1 month ago
Reply to  Pittband

He’s already got the Biletnikoff…preparing for NFL in the sun I’m sure

Jane
Jane
1 month ago

I do not respect his decision!!

Giovanni
Giovanni
1 month ago

If Morgan is being fully honest then he deserves big kudos for an incredibly selfless act. As a Pitt fan I’d, of course, rather he stay — especially with Alexander leaving and Baldonado likely departing also. Morgan might have been motivated by conversations he had with the most promising underclassman who could be frustrated enough to enter the portal for lack of playing time opportunity. If so, then this is good news for Pitt since it would be worse to lose any of the best talent waiting in the wings. Regardless, John Morgan deserves the benefit of the doubt until… Read more »

Mtgj
Mtgj
1 month ago

I believe John. It is time for the young kids to get a chance. I think he is ready for something else and I believe pitt has plenty of talent that has been waiting. . I’m sure everyone will give their conspiracy theories, but at the end of the day this makes sense for everyone. Sometimes the guys tell the truth.

PittFanDeez
PittFanDeez
1 month ago

Morgan probably has empathy for his Pitt teammates and really wants to do them a solid. That being said, he’s just taking playing time away from a young man at another school that he doesn’t know from Adam. If Morgan transfers for $,, then the only place he would likely benefit is at Maryland, since Upper Marlboro is fairly close to there. Sone commenters have suggested that Manny Diaz may recruit him to PSU, but they already have a true freshman world beater (Dani Dennis-Sutton) at defensive end and a bunch of other guys with impressive recruiting pedigree. It’s highly… Read more »

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

Gezz, awfully harsh words/criticism for a pretty good 5 year player.
No wonder recruits don’t want to come here. Seems that John is a Stand-up guy.
The FBS is a BIG arena. He has graduated, and has seen somewhere or someone
that he wants to be in contact with. Go get it John. All the Best. H2P.

Let’s believe
Let’s believe
1 month ago

Kinda like when a guy breaks up with a girl and tells her he feels like he’s holding her back in life and it’s in her best interest that they go their separate ways.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

So Morgan is transferring to solely help out his younger teammates? At least be honest. So now we need to find out the real reason.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

duzz told him to move on, they need his scholarship for a low 3* or trying to flip a kid from Holy Cross

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