You have to think Stanley Morgan felt good about this particular one-on-one matchup — especially the message he took out of it.

The Nebraska senior wide receiver had a meeting this week with Troy Walters, the Huskers' new offensive coordinator who doubles as receivers coach. It's safe to say Walters already knew plenty about the team's leading receiver from 2017.

"He's going to be a playmaker for us," Walters said. "He's going to be used probably more in this offense than he was in the last offense."

That's a significant statement considering the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Morgan in 2017 established the single-season school record for receiving yards with 986 (on a team-leading 61 receptions).

A native of New Orleans, Morgan was Nebraska's second-leading receiver in 2016 with 33 catches, recording at least one in every game.

It's no wonder Walters will expect plenty from him.

"I sat down with Stanley this week and had a little one-on-one and told him he's the guy, he's going to be the leader," Walters said. "The young guys are going to look up to him every day. He's going to set the example in the room. So everything he does, he has to understand the younger receivers are watching him.

"I told him I'm going to coach him harder than anybody because he's the leader. We're glad to have him back."

Morgan has said he thought briefly about leaving school early for the NFL draft in the wake of Mike Riley's firing as Nebraska's head coach in late November. By staying in the program, Morgan gets a chance to shine in new head coach Scott Frost's no-huddle spread system, which finished the 2017 season as the nation's No. 1 scoring offense.

"I asked him what he wanted to accomplish this year," Walters said. "He told me his goals, and I told him I want to be a resource for him to accomplish everything he wants to accomplish.

"We're going to be smart with him (in practice). Any time you come back for your fourth year, you're seasoned. We're going to be smart with the amount of reps he gets and make sure that he's fresh and ready for the season."

Walters is mindful that players can feel a degree of trepidation with a new coaching staff.

"I told Stanley to take what Coach (Keith) Williams taught you and then add on to that," said Walters, referring to Nebraska's previous wideouts coach. "I know he is a great receivers coach, and I'm going to teach Stanley things that coach Williams didn't teach. I told Stanley, 'You're going to become a better receiver because now you've got more weapons in your arsenal.'"

Walters may wish Nebraska had more experience in its arsenal of receivers. The Huskers return just four scholarship wideouts from 2017. However, in addition to Morgan, JD Spielman gives the team a reliable — and explosive — multi-talented threat.

The 5-9, 180-pound Spielman last season set Nebraska freshman records in receptions (55) and receiving yards (830).

"Any time as a freshman you can go out and do what he did, it's phenomenal," Walters said. "I think he has a great feel for the slot, a great feel for how to get open. He's one of those guys who's around the office all the time, trying to learn the offense and the techniques and details.

"I think he's going to fit perfectly in what we're trying to do."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.


Husker columnist

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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