ASHWAUBENON — James Morgan and Alec Ingold have spent their high school careers competing against each other in the Fox River Classic Conference and along the way have developed into elite football players.
This past weekend, Morgan and Ingold all but guaranteed they will continue playing against each other in college as Morgan verbally committed to play college football at Bowling Green State and Ingold to Northern Illinois.
The quarterbacks could’ve waited to see if they could’ve drawn more offers or better offers, but in each case the future Mid-American Conference quarterback wanted to make an early decision so he could focus on his final year of high school.
“A lot of schools want you to commit early, focus on your senior season,” Ingold said. “They seem to be really supportive with all my sports I’m going to be participating in, so it’s a great feeling that I can do what I want to do for my senior year.”
“Just getting it out of the way, so now I can focus on winning and winning a state championship,” said Morgan, who threw 26 touchdown passes and eight interceptions last season. “It’s kind of off my chest now so I can just work on building relationships with my team, working hard and getting my team to winning games.”
Morgan is ranked in the top 20 nationally as a pocket passer by multiple recruiting services. Nothing against Bowling Green State, which beat Northern Illinois in last year’s MAC championship game, but it seemed he might be able to draw offers from major programs.
Morgan, however, said he received offers from Ball State, North Dakota State, Southern Illinois, Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Be that as it may, what if Wisconsin offered him?
“I would say if the Badgers called tomorrow I would have to think about it,” Morgan said. “I do like Bowling Green. The Badgers obviously have a great program and Bowling Green has a great program.”
Bay Port coach Gary Westerman says this type of attention to the area quarterbacks is great and uncommon.
“I don’t remember two quarterbacks in the state with as many offers as Alec and James have had,” he said. “It’s been a pretty exciting deal and looking forward to some good games this fall. It’s good for football in the state, it’s good for our conference.”
Ingold and Morgan have different styles. Morgan is the classic pocket passer, who doesn’t want to scramble too often. He said Bowling Green’s style of play fits him perfectly as the coaching staff has recently had quarterbacks drafted into the NFL.
“The offensive system is awesome,” he said. “You can potentially put up great numbers when you’re looking at quarterbacks like Jimmy Garoppolo, Kevin Kolb and RGIII (Robert Griffin III). I would say the relationship with coaches and the potential for success in getting to the next level would be the ultimate goal.”
Ingold attracted Northern Illinois because it prefers dual-threat quarterbacks for its system. Ingold threw for more than 1,000 yards last season and ran for more than 850.
He also said a reason he picked Northern Illinois is the program wins, a lot. Two years ago the Huskies played in the Orange Bowl.
“You don’t want to go to college and end up losing,” Ingold said. “You want to go to a school you can have success at. It’s just a great fit for the offense. Everything seems to be a good fit.”
Morgan and Ingold have some work to do this coming season before becoming college quarterbacks, but both knows what could lie ahead for them. Their future teams met in the MAC title game last season and maybe they do again in the near future with former FRCC quarterbacks under center.
That possibility puts smiles on their faces.
“That would definitely be something to look forward to in the future,” Morgan said.
Added Ingold: “I’m sure I’ll see James more and can’t be more excited.”
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay