FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Grant Morgan, already a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy and a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, is now in the mix for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award.
The Arkansas redshirt linebacker is one of 20 semifinalists for the award, which recognizes college football’s top leader. The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award is the sport’s first honor to focus primarily on a player’s leadership – both on and off the field.
Overlooked and underrecruited coming out of high school, Morgan has led the Razorbacks in all aspects with his work ethic and dogged determination since arriving on campus in 2016. The Greenwood, Ark., native began his career at Arkansas as a walk-on before emerging as one of the best players in all of college football after producing one of the greatest seasons in school history during the 2020 campaign.
Morgan was named a Walter Camp and AFCA Second Team All-American, posting a team-best 111 total tackles, including 7.5 for loss, with 2.0 sacks in 2020 to become only the second Razorback defender in the last 10 seasons to garner both AP and Coaches All-SEC recognition. He was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, which goes to the best college football player who began his career as a walk-on.
Now, a team captain for the second season in a row, Morgan has picked up right where he left off. Through nine games in 2021, he is third on the Hogs in total tackles (69) and tackles for loss (4.5) with 0.5 sacks and three pass breakups. He is a finalist for this year’s Campbell Trophy – better known as college football’s Academic Heisman – which recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership.
Off the field, Morgan earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with a concentration in exercise science in 2019 before receiving his master’s degree in operations management in 2020. The four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member has been named to the Chancellor’s and Dean’s List during his time at the University of Arkansas.
A member of the 2020 SEC Community Service Team, Morgan has been a student-athlete representative on the Athletic Department Executive Board and a Fellowship of Christian Athletes leader since 2018. He has also served on the SEC Football Leadership Council and was a five-year member of the Arkansas Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Morgan has also volunteered his time with the Special Olympics, Razorback Day, 7Hills Homeless Shelter and children’s and veteran’s hospital visits.
Leadership is a term synonymous with Jason Witten, who, in addition to becoming one of the best tight ends in the history of the sport, served as one of football’s most prominent role models during his 16-year pro career. In addition to winning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2012, Witten also received the Bart Starr Award, Pro Football Weekly’s Humanitarian of the Year Award, Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP and the Bob Lilly Award, among many others. All of those honors have recognized his work in the community, achievements on the field and dedication to his teammates and family.
Three finalists will be named for the award on Wednesday, Dec. 15. The winner will be announced at the award ceremony in Frisco, Texas, on Feb. 17, 2022. The winner of the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award will receive a $10,000 contribution in his name to his school’s athletic scholarship fund.