When it comes to dealing adversity, few rookies know it as well as Tanner Morgan.
In his true freshman year with the Minnesota Gophers, he did not play a single snap and was redshirted. He would lose his father prior to his senior year in 2021, after a year-plus battle with a brain tumor. In 2022, he would suffer numerous injuries that would relegate him to just nine games, most notably a concussion against Illinois in October 2022.
Morgan remained resilient through it all, and by the time he left the Gophers program, he held numerous school records, including season career wins (33), completion percentage (62.2), and passing efficiency rating (151.0).
What should be acknowledged is how his production contributed to the success of former Gophers receivers now in the NFL. Baltimore Ravens receiver Rashod Bateman had his most successful college season in 2019, when he registered 1,219 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. In the same season, his former teammate, Tyler Johnson (now with the Las Vegas Raiders), recorded 1,318 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Morgan himself put up career numbers with 3253 passing yards and 30 touchdowns.
With everything he has had to overcome, Morgan comes into the NFL battle tested, not just on the field but off of it. Despite going undrafted, he is one of the most experienced rookie quarterbacks the Pittsburgh Steelers have had on their roster in a long time—the type of receiver that would fit well in their quarterback room.