Flashes turn to freshman at quarterback

Joe Harrington

True freshman Giorgio Morgan iPs set to make his debut at quarterback Saturday at Dix Stadium against Central Michigan. Morgan was originally going to redshirt the season, but injuries to quarterbacks Julian Edelman and Anthony Magazu has thrust Morgan in

Credit: DKS Editors

There will be a fresh face starting at quarterback for Kent State this Saturday against Central Michigan. Freshman Giorgio Morgan will make his college football debut after redshirting for most of this season.

Morgan, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound freshman was named one of the top 50 players in the state of Georgia by the Atlanta Journal Constitution last year.

“He’s really excited and he may give us an opportunity to spark some excitement here in our team and our program, that’s not always a bad thing, change sometimes can help too,” Kent State coach Doug Martin said.

Morgan takes over for junior quarterback Julian Edelman, who broke his right arm against Bowling Green last week. Edelman has started every game but one for the Flashes since beating out Michael Machen at the start of 2006. He is 9-10 as a starter and was 6-5 last season.

This year he teamed with sophomore Eugene Jarvis to make one of the Mid-American Conferences’ best running duos, combining for 1,558 yards on the ground.

“We’re certainly going to miss Julian,” Martin said. “He brought a tremendous amount of character and competitiveness to this program. We look forward to getting him back this spring and continue to build what we’ve been building here.”

Morgan could be a huge piece to the foundation. As a high school senior he threw for 2,200 yards and ran for 700 yards with 17 touchdowns. He was supposed to sit out this year, saving a year of eligibility.

But after the injury to backup quarterback, sophomore Anthony Magazu, who rolled his ankle against Ohio State, Martin’s offense instantly became thin at the position.

After Edelman was injured against Bowling Green, sophomores Jon Brown and Darren Rogers -who was a wide receiver for most of the season – were sacked three times in his absence. Part of Martin’s decision to start Morgan is because he is more mobile than Brown and has a more accurate arm than Darren Rogers.

Morgan served as the scout team quarterback for most of this season and has impressed the defensive players with his abilities.

“We all miss Julian,” senior Colin Ferrell said. “… Giorgio is a confident dude and we feel like (he) can go in there and at least get the job done and do positive things.”

Morgan’s first game may come easy to him because Central Michigan has a defense that mirrors the Flashes’ own top-ranked unit, the same type of defense Morgan has played against in practice all season.

With four games left, Morgan is expected to start the rest of the season. If he plays well, he will challenge Edelman for the starting job in 2008.

“Giorgio has a great future here,” Martin said. “From my standpoint, part of my job is to win. Part of my job is to make sure this young man is successful too. It’s important that what he does do, he has success with to help him down the road.”

Contact football reporter Joe Harrington at [email protected].