The Michigan Wolverines wide receiver room is going through a shake-up this offseason after several pass-catchers who had significant playing time left the program. Out with those guys, and in with a 2023 recruiting class that had a few guys at the position.
One that looks to make an impact is Semaj Morgan, a gadget-style receiver that is needed with A.J. Henning transferring to Northwestern. Could the true freshman carve out some playing time?
The story so far
Obviously, there’s not much written in the Semaj Morgan story at Michigan quite yet, but there are a lot of things to like. He is a homegrown talent, attending West Bloomfield High School where guys like Donovan Edwards, Amir Henning and Makari Paige starred. His former head coach, Ron Bellamy, is now the wide receivers coach at Michigan, so he will be playing for a guy who knows his skillset and what he needs to do to get better.
Another plus is Morgan was an early enrollee, joining the Wolverines back in December. Because of that, he garnered more reps and much-needed weight training to get him college-ready.
Nicknamed “Jukebox,” the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder lined up all over the field in high school. He returned kicks and punts and saw time in the slot and on the outside as a receiver. Where he really excels is with the ball in his hands where he routinely makes guys miss and has the speed to burn by defenders.
Morgan played in Michigan’s spring game, and he and fellow true freshman Fredrick Moore impressed some of the guys in the locker room, including Roman Wilson.
“Fred and Semaj are really good additions to our team,” Wilson said. “Being young guys and as far along as they are, I think they’re really good.“
Outlook for 2023
With as much uncertainty as there is at this position, it’s hard to say if Morgan will see the field much in 2023. Likely, he is someone to keep an eye on down the line instead of being an impact player as a true freshman.
However, he definitely fits a need for this program. With Henning gone, the duties for a kick/punt returner are very much up in the air, and I would not be surprised if Morgan got a shot. There could be specific packages with end-arounds and screens where he will be able to flash some of his explosiveness.
There are several receivers ahead of him, and I think it’s pretty clear with Wilson, Cornelius Johnson, Tyler Morris and Darrius Clemons leading the way. But we have seen guys fly under the radar that wound up breaking out for a game or two, and even for an entire career (Ronnie Bell).
Morgan will have to pick up this offense quickly and make the most of his opportunities to see significant playing time. Maybe he’ll have specific packages designed for his skillset in the back-half of games that leads to him being a little more integrated in bigger moments, but it’s likely he redshirts this season.