Ryan Morgan’s favorite sport is football, but his future might be on the track.
“I have to gain weight,” he said. “I am only 165 pounds and I need to be bigger if I want to play football in college.”
There is a dilemma. Ryan has gone to the state track meet the past two seasons and has lettered in varsity track three times. He is a sprinter and his specialty is the 400-meter run. Carrying much more weight might slow down his times on the track.
Schools like UCLA, Notre Dame, Duke, Air Force Academy and several other institutions of higher education are interested in Ryan’s track skills.
Ryan also has earned two varsity letters in football and is a threat to take it all the way every time he touches the pigskin. He has the skills to play both sports at the next level.
This summer he is working on both sports and is trying to gain weight and improve his strength. He lifts weights and works out with the football team five days a week.
He also works on his track skills four days a week. He will be going to the National Junior Olympics for the third time this summer, competing in the 400 meters against the best in the nation.
“Ryan will be our most recruited football player since I have been here,” said Athletic Director Damon Baldwin. “He is already well-known in track circles.
“Speed is the name of the game and Ryan has pure speed. He has a burst and is at full speed very quickly. He is a football player that is fast.”
There is a big difference between a track athlete that plays football and a fast football player.”
Ryan does not have a summer job.
“I don’t need one,” he said. “My parents take great care of me.”
When asked if he was a leech, he replied, “Heck yes!” with a laugh.
For recreation in the summer, Ryan likes to go to the movies and hang out. I have to do some research on what the official definition of hanging out is. Teenage jargon has evolved from kickin’ it and kickin’ back to hanging out. They all mean the same thing. I just am not sure what they all mean.
He also goes to the beach. He is calling his trip to North Carolina his vacation. What fun—running a few 400-meter races. Hanging out has to be more fun.
Ryan is also planning a trip to Chicago in August. He said he wants to see a baseball game at Soldiers Field until I told him they played football at Soldiers Field. “I knew they played something at Soldiers Field. Maybe I will see a Bears exhibition game or go to Wrigley Field or Comiskey Park for baseball,” joked Ryan.
Ryan likes to act less than intelligent and does an excellent Forrest Gump, but with a 3.5 grade point average it is just an act. He has a dry sense of humor. Hence, a baseball game at Soldiers Field and the summer job comment.
He is considering a career in engineering or sports medicine. If he sets up a practice in Chicago, he can work at Wrigley, Soldiers and Comiskey. With the schools that are expressing an interest in him, he will be able to make that decision later.
Both of his parents, Rheynard and Julie, are very supportive.
“My dad not only supports me, he supports everybody,” he said. “My mom just concentrates on me and my brother (Nate). I have great parents.”
Right now Ryan is working on football and track and preparing for his senior year at Ramona High School. Running is in his future. It has yet to be decided if the running will be on a gridiron or a track.
Like Forrest Gump, Ryan can run on both.