Philadelphia High School’s Asker Morgan graduates this year and will play football at Samford University.
Philadelphia High School’s Asker Morgan graduates this year and will play football at Samford University.
The two football seasons as Philadelphia High School’s starting quarterback have flown by for Asher Morgan.

Now he’s looking forward to graduating in May and then continuing his football career at Samford University.

“It has gone by fast,” Morgan said. “I have enjoyed it and wouldn’t do anything different; besides beating Taylorsville in that final game. But you can’t worry about coulda, shoulda now. Overall, it was a great experience.”

Morgan transferred to Philadelphia from Jackson Academy going in to his junior year. It was a time of change and transition of the Tornado football program. Legendary coach Bobby Hall had taken over at Philadelphia and was putting in a new playbook. Philadelphia had always been a running team and Hall switched the offense to a passing game.

Then two games into the season, Coach Hall retired. Coach David Frey was named the interim head coach and later head coach.

“I already knew a lot of people when I first came to Philadelphia and got to know more as time went by,” Morgan said. “Last year, I was the new quarterback. We had a new head coach, new offense. We spread the ball out instead of running the ball and there were a lot of different things happening.

“But we stayed with it. This year’s team and last year’s team were very different.  We were more familiar with the offense. We had a lot of talent. I had five or six receivers who could catch the ball and that’s always a good thing. We played a lot more together and went from 8-5 to 12-2.”

Even though he was new to Philadelphia High School and in a different situation, Morgan said he felt that he quickly became a part of it. And apparently his classmates accepted him. He was elected student body vice president his junior year and class president this year. He was also voted class favorite.

“I think coming in during the summer and going through two and a half months of summer workouts really helped,” Morgan said. “I enjoyed playing at Philadelphia. It was a good experience.

“It’s a good place to go to school. I have had good teachers and the faculty has helped me out. I still have another semester to go and I think it’s going to fun.”

Surgery is on the immediate agenda. Morgan played with pain with his feet and hopes surgery will get that behind him.              

“It’s time to get that fixed,” Morgan said. “They aren’t sure if something is broken or what. It has stayed irritated and inflamed.

“They told me last spring that I should rest it for four to six weeks but with spring, training, football camps and workouts and then the season, that was not possible.”

That, he added, was one reason he opted not to play basketball this year.

Morgan is excited to be headed to Samford University which is located near Birmingham. Samford offers 17 varsity sports and participates in the NCAA at the Division I level as a member of the Southern Conference.

“Samford is great school, very family based,” Morgan said. “If you get offered at Samford, it’s not just because of your ability but you fit the Samford mold.

“I met some of the other recruits during my visit. They had the same mindset. And I really liked the coaches. The campus is beautiful and it offers a great education. To me, it’s a win-win situation.

At this point, he plans to major in business finance.

And because it is a smaller private college with an enrollment of around 5,500 students doesn’t mean it is out of the question that Morgan might end up in the NFL someday.        Samford has several alumni who went on to play in the NFL. In fact, Devlin Hodges, the rookie quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, played at Samford. He signed as a free agent after college and has worked his way into the starting role for now.


All-star experience

Morgan’s high school season did not end with the bitter loss to Taylorsville in the third round of the Class 2A state playoffs. He had been selected to play in the Mississippi North-South All-Star game which was held the Saturday before Christmas in Gulfport. He was on the losing side of a 28-7 loss by the South team but he said he enjoyed the week.

And he made some new friends.

“Two of the players on the South team came from Taylorsville,” Morgan said. “They were great guys and good teammates. We had our picture made together after the game. It was good getting to know them and in the end, I congratulated them on their season.”

Morgan was honored to receive the C-Spire Academic Award for the South team which was based on his GPA average. He is maintaining a 4.0 GPA average and made a 28 on the ACT.


Family is important

When Morgan isn’t playing sports or working on school work, he enjoys spending time with his five nieces and nephews.

“They are great,” Morgan said. “Three-year-old is the oldest and three-months-old is the youngest.

“Three of them can’t walk yet. The ones who can run around, they have a Philadelphia jersey and love playing football.”

“They are all growing up fast,” Morgan said.

He likes to fish and he has picked up golf in the past couple of years.

So, what does Asher Morgan want to do when he gets through with school?

“I want to be an NFL quarterback,” Morgan said. “That is my ultimate dream. But if do finish up with my business finance degree, I don’t know. Samford will provide with an internship with something pertaining to our degree.

Asher is the son of Kirk and Dayne Morgan. He is the youngest of four children. His mom is the former Dayna Williamson, a 1982 graduate of Philadelphia High School.