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Meet Butkus Candidate Dan Morgan

Meet Butkus Candidate Dan Morgan

Q&A with Senior Linebacker Dan Morgan
Sept. 21, 2000

by Chris Bello

Q:How has the program changed since you arrived in 1997 and was that opportunity to revitalize the Canes partially what brought you to Coral Gables?

A:I’ve been a Hurricane fan since I was six years old so coming to Miami wasn’t a hard choice for me. I wanted to be part of the rebuilding stage and each year it has gotten better and better and hopefully this year we can take it to the top, even with the one loss.

Q:What is your most memorable on the field and off the field moment over the past four years?

A:I enjoy all of my teammates – we’ve gotten real close on and off the field. As for a specific game, I’d have to say the UCLA game and the Gator Bowl (against Georgia Tech) – those were the most memorable games. As for off the field, I’m a pretty laid back person – nothing too exciting.

Q:How has the transition to middle linebacker worked for you?

A:I feel real good – real comfortable. I can utilize my speed sideline to sideline. You can see things a lot more clear from both sides of the ball and it’s working out real well. I just continue what I’m doing and I’ll keep working hard.

Q: Are you ready to break that all time tackling record at Miami?

A:Yes, I’m ready. I take one game at a time and I try not to think about it. I just go out there and play ball and however many tackles I have, I have. I don’t really worry too much about it.

Q: How do you maintain your focus and stay within your game plan with all that crowd noise and on hostile territory?

A:I tell my teammates, you can’t worry about the crowd. When you’re in the zone and you’re focused on what you’ve got to do, you really don’t hear the crowd. We just gotta go out there and be 100% focused on what we’ve gotta do and if we do that then the crowd shouldn’t be much of a factor.

Q: What has the team learned from the Washington game that will help this squad down the road – and can you really put a game like that behind you?

A:Yeah – you definitely can put a game like that behind you. You gotta learn from your mistakes and defensively we have to cut down on some penalties on third down and some of the other mental mistakes here and there that killed us. We just gotta go out and practice some of the things we need to work on and cut down on penalties and we’ll be fine.

Q: Which NFL players have you modeled your style of play after?

A:I really haven’t modeled my style of play after anybody but the one person I looked up to as a little kid was Brian Bosworth. That’s why I wear 44. I kinda always wanted to be like him. (Note: Dan admitted to having that infamous Bozworth haircut as a kid.)

Q: What is your all time favorite hit you’ve laid on someone as a Cane?

A:Washington is kind of stuck in my head – the hit I had last week. Some kid caught a pass and I kinda laid a good hit on him. Other than that, running down Michael Vick and stuff like that are plays I pride myself on.

Q: What are some of your pre-game rituals?

A:Basically I just pray to God before I go out on the field every game. Then I write my parents’ names, sister’s name, sister’s daughter’s name on my wristband because they are the people I’m closest to so I do that before every game.

Q: Who are the most vocal team leaders in the locker room on game day?

A:There’s a lot of people on this team that are real vocal out on the field. If I had to pick out one I’d definitely have to pick Al Blades. He’s always running his mouth, so I’d have to pick him out.

Q: Who would you want to play Dan Morgan if a movie of your life was made?

A: Al Pacino. I like all Al Pacino movies. I think he’s a great actor.

Q: I know that your focus is on West Virginia this weekend but beating Florida State and Virginia Tech are two of this season’s biggest goals. Which win would mean more to you – knocking off you most hated rival, or your conference rival?

A: If I had to pick out one of them, I couldn’t because my career at Miami won’t be complete if we don’t beat both of them this year. If we beat both of them that will definitely be a key in my going out and being happy.