Grant Morgan announces decision to return to Arkansas Razorbacks in 2021
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Morgan announces decision to return in 2021

Grant Morgan is returning to Arkansas for a sixth year in 2021.
Grant Morgan is returning to Arkansas for a sixth year in 2021. (Arkansas Athletics)

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FAYETTEVILLE — Grant Morgan surprised Arkansas fans with an extra Christmas gift Friday afternoon.

The Razorbacks’ first-team All-SEC linebacker announced via Twitter that he would take advantage of the NCAA’s blanket eligibility relief and return to the team for a sixth season in 2021.

“I’m not done being a Hog,” Morgan wrote. “My work here is unfinished. The best is yet to come. 31 is back!”

His announcement comes just a few days after earning first-team all-conference honors from the coaches, AP and Pro Football Focus, as well as being named one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy.

Before suffering a knee injury late in the third quarter of Arkansas’ loss to Missouri, Morgan led all of college football with 111 tackles. 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 nationally.

The injury is not expected to keep him out of the Texas Bowl against TCU next Thursday.

Included in his tackle total are two sacks and a team-high 7.5 tackles for loss. Morgan also has five pass breakups and an interception, which he turned into 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 linebackers who’ve played at least 100 snaps.

Morgan, a former walk-on who earned a scholarship before the 2018 season, was in his first year as a starting linebacker for the Razorbacks after spending the last three years as a backup.

He is the first senior at Arkansas to officially reveal his decision to return to school for an extra year, which was made possible by a rule change by the NCAA in response to the coronavirus pandemic.