Aspiring film and TV major Jakelyn Morgan hopes for blockbuster college career

Texas, cornerback Jakelyn Morgan, pictured with his father, Johnny, is a three-star defensive back in the Arizona Wildcats’ 2021 signing class.

Unfamiliarity can lead to uncertainty.

Jakelyn Morgan committed to Arizona during Kevin Sumlin’s tenure. When that era of UA football came to a rock-bottom close in December, Morgan — a cornerback — was initially unsure about his future in Tucson.

Morgan pondered his future, but ultimately stayed committed to the Wildcats’ 2021 recruiting class. The three-star prospect from Tyler, Texas, said steady communication with new head coach Jedd Fisch, defensive coordinator Don Brown and cornerbacks coach DeWayne Walker made the difference.

“I waited, but once I got to know them and their character, I loved the school and the culture, and I’m 100% confident they can coach me and turn me into a man and a great player and get me to my goal, which is the NFL,” he said. “That’s where I’m trying to go and I’m very grateful for that.”

The Star talked to Morgan about his decision to commit, his conversations with Arizona’s coaches, and why he plans to major in film and television in college.

What were the conversations like between yourself and the coaching staff?

A: “They have everything that I like in a coach. They don’t beat around it. They’re straight forward, and they said they liked the way I play. I just liked everything they were telling me. They said they like track guys and I’m very passionate about running track. They said they were going to bring the best out of me. Even though the other coaching staff isn’t there anymore, (the new staff) is still going to love me and I respect them for that.”

How much did not visiting Tucson and the UA campus because of the pandemic affect your decision?

A: “That part kind of had me hesitant, but after hearing what the coaches were telling me … we were on Zoom calls and they showed me the campus through there, and I’m pretty confident in the school and what it brings.”

How would you describe yourself as a football player?

A: “A very humble person, but very confident. If you’re not like that, then it’ll bring you down as a DB. A while back, I was always thinking about covering instead of tackling, but my high school coach snapped me out of that, because as a defensive player you got to tackle and not just cover. He taught me that, and that’s been huge in my development.”

What makes you want to study film and television at the UA?

A: “I’m always watching videos, things on YouTube, (ESPN’s) 30 for 30s. That stuff made me just want to do that type of stuff. I just developed a passion for it over time and I’m always watching TV and stuff like that. Ever since my freshman year of high school, I’ve just been loving it.”

Is there a specific platform that inspired you to pursue film?

A: “There’s another thing called ‘Overtime.’ They inspired me to make videos like that and show sports in a cinematic way. That inspired me a lot and I watch ‘Overtime’ a lot. It’s more of a YouTube channel, but I like it very much.”

What TV shows did you watch growing up?

A: “I was always into action movies, but the top TV shows I liked always had something to do with football and basketball. When the NFL started making top-100s (countdown shows), that brought me in. Ever since my first year playing football, I just always watched it. To this day, I still watch it when it comes out every summer.”

What about movies?

A: “I’ve always been more into action movies like ‘Transformers’ (and) ‘Godzilla,’ and I just stay with movies like those.”

Are you a fan of Marvel or DC Comics?

A: “Oh yeah! My favorite Marvel character is The Incredible Hulk. When I was watching ‘(Avengers:) Infinity War’ and ‘(Avengers:) Endgame,’ it made me have a love for all of the Marvel characters. My favorite Marvel movie was ‘Endgame,’ and there will never be another movie like it.”

Why the Hulk?

A: The first Avengers movie with the CGI caught my eye, but the first ‘Hulk’ movie in 2003 or 2004 made me love him. If you asked my dad (Johnny), I watch that movie all the time and probably saw it like 10 times in a row because that’s how much I loved it. As soon as that first movie came out, I was hooked.”

Were you that little kid who wore the enormous foam Hulk hands?

A: “Oh yes. Yes I did. … I’ve been going at my pops to order me some Hulk football gloves.”

What are your five favorite movies of all time?

A: “‘Ninja Turtles,’ ‘Madagascar,’ ‘Transformers,’ ‘Hulk’ and ‘Endgame.’”

Once you get a degree in film and television, what’s your endgame?

A: “I would definitely be a producer and help out with the production for movies. I have a pretty good imagination and I just think the producing side is where I would fit.”

If you were to tell Arizona fans what the Wildcats are getting out of you, what would you say?

A: “I would say they’re getting a humble person, a locked-in person, a person who wants to be great and knows there always is room for improvement and I’m going to give them everything I got.”