than Samerson, a potential future star.
“We’re gonna have a bomb squad,” Morgan said with a laugh.
Landberg, though, has his worries. He doesn’t have big bodies on his lines like he did last year with Jonathan Yearwood and Felix Small, both of whom played in the Outback Steakhouse Empire Challenge. And at this point, no one has stepped up as leaders like Yearwood, Small, Elijah Burgos and Jauvan John did in 2009.
“That’s the big issue,” Landberg said. “We’re trying to get somebody to step up and be a leader. In the high-school game, I think you need leaders more than anything else, because it’s a vulnerable age. I think we’re searching for leadership right now and that’s one of our obstacles. … This team is very robotic. They do what they’re told, which is fine. But sometimes you need some swagger, you need some personality out here. We lack that right now. I don’t think like anyone feels like they’re in their own home right now where they can kick off their shoes and act like themselves just yet.”
Morgan feels like he’s going to be that guy. He’s not only an excellent quarterback, he’s probably the best free safety in the city – that’s what he’s getting recruited for. Morgan has the swagger Landberg is talking about, but he admits that he’s not the same as the four seniors from last year.’
“They were more physically leading, like getting into people’s heads,” Morgan said. “I’m just the cool type. I just want everybody to be cool with me and we’re gonna have fun.”
On the lines, Landberg will be relying on Chuck Weze (6-2, 215), Kevin Bond (6-0, 230) and Xaverian transfer Alex Williams (6-2, 210). Linebacker Richard O’Garro is now fully recovered from a broken elbow and the secondary should be strong with Morgan and Jackson at the safeties and Samerson playing corner.
“He has a chance to be the best corner we’ve ever had here,” Landberg said of Samerson. “He could be one day.”
There are many coulds for Erasmus Hall this season. The coach said he’ll know plenty about his team after Week 1 when the Dutchmen play defending PSAL champion Curtis on Staten Island. It’ll be another learning experience – much like that semifinal loss.
“It was definitely a great experience to be in it,” Landberg said. “It was a situation where you get to learn when you wouldn’t learn otherwise. Tottenville was very well prepared. They were sound and disciplined. It gave you a nice idea about what you need to do, step up on the little things. This game is about the little things. You can put anything together you want, but those screws better be tight.”