PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pitt State safety Morgan Selemaea is looking forward to playing in front of a packed house at Carnie Smith Stadium this fall.
“I know that first home game is going to be roaring and full of fans. That’s what I’m itching for.”
Selemaea did not get to play in front of those home fans most of last season, suffering a knee injury in the team’s home opener against Nebraska-Kearney in the second game of the team’s schedule. He would go on to miss the team’s final eight games of the season.
He was on the practice field on Tuesday morning for Pitt State – but still limited in what he can do as he recovers from his injury.
“It has definitely been hard. I’m about to finish month seven,” Selemaea says of his recovery, “But I’m thankful. I’ve been through the ups and downs of the whole thing, but my team had my back and they always kept me up. Staying connected to them made me want to come back and finish. It was not a hard choice at all.”
Selemaea is entering his 6th year with the Pitt State football program.
He’s able to return for the Gorillas because there was no 2020 season due to COVID-19, and he didn’t use his remaining eligibility last season due to injury
“I love this place. I couldn’t imaging playing anywhere else,” Selemaea says, “I came in with these guys in the 2017 class, and I’m going to end it with them.”
The Harrisonville, Missouri product joined the Gorillas in 2017. He played immediately as a freshman and became one of the best and most consistent defensive players in the MIAA.
Selemea is a 3X All-MIAA performer, earning Honorable Mention All-MIAA in 2017, 2nd team All-MIAA as a sophomore in 2018 and 3rd team All-MIAA in 2019 as a junior. He was also an Honorable Mention All-American in 2018, when he collected 50 tackles, including 10 tackles-for-loss and 4.5 sacks. He also posted an interception and six pass break-ups on the season.
He was recruited to Pittsburg State in 2017 by head coach Tim Beck and his coaching staff, but stayed through a coaching change – with Brian Wright being named the Gorillas’ head coach in December 2019.
“I remember Morgan coming to my office shortly after I got the job and asking what I needed from him. He wanted to know what he could do to help right off the bat,” Wright says of Selemaea, “He’s just been a sponge and has been that way since day one. He is always trying to learn and grow and get better and become the very best leader he can be for this football team.”
As for what Wright expects from his veteran safety.
“We want him to get 100% healthy and make a lot of plays for us on that side of the ball,” Wright says, “We need him to be a vocal leader for us out there. We had a couple of those guys graduate this past year. We’re looking forward to guys stepping up in those roles as well.”
Pitt State will play its annual spring game on Friday at 6 PM, and is scheduled to begin the regular season on September 1st, at home against Central Missouri.
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