Morgan adds All-America nod to postseason honors
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Grant Morgan has picked up yet another postseason accolade.
Already named a consensus first-team All-SEC linebacker and one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, the former walk-on was tabbed a second-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) on Thursday.
The announcement makes him the Razorbacks’ first All-American since Frank Ragnow in 2017 and first defensive All-American since safety Ken Hamlin in 2002.
He is just the fifth linebacker to earn such an honor in UA history, joining first-teamers Jermaine Petty (2001), Cliff Powell (1969), Ronnie Caveness (1963-64) and Wayne Harris (1960).
It comes after a season in which Morgan led all of college football with 111 tackles before suffering a knee injury late in the third quarter of Arkansas’ loss to Missouri. Even after missing the Alabama game, he ranks second nationally behind only Troy’s Carlton Martial (113). His 12.3 tackles per game are tied for the most in the country.
Included in his tackle total are two sacks and a team-high 7.5 tackles for loss. Morgan also notched five pass breakups and an interception, which he turned in a game-clinching pick-six by returning it 23 yards for a score against Ole Miss.
Pro Football Focus gave him a 73.4 grade for his performance this season, which ranks fourth among SEC linebacker who’ve played at least 100 snaps. That earned him a first-team All-SEC nod from PFF, and then the coaches and AP followed suit.
Had this been a normal 12-game season with a bowl game and he not suffered the injury, Morgan likely would have turned in one of the best single seasons in UA history in terms of tackles.
Without considering the fact that he didn’t play any non-conference games to pad his stats, he was on pace for 160 tackles over 13 games. That would have ranked second on the all-time list, behind only Harris’ 174 tackles in 1960 and just ahead of Hamlin’s 159 tackles 2002.
Although he was a fifth-year senior this season and the Texas Bowl - in which he was expected to play - was canceled, Morgan has not played his final game in an Arkansas uniform.
The Greenwood native announced on Christmas Day that he would take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA in response to the coronavirus pandemic and return for a sixth season in 2021.