Every day, two N.C. State brothers separated by half a continent talk football on the phone.
Former Wolfpack safety DaJuan Morgan is going through his first NFL preseason as a third-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. Little brother DeAndre Morgan is competing for a starting position at left cornerback for N.C. State.
"He tells me to go hard, and I tell him the same," DeAndre Morgan said.
DeAndre started seven games last season, breaking up eight passes and making 31 tackles as a redshirt freshman. He plays the field cornerback position, which means he often is left alone in the open field against an opponent's best receiver.
Morgan has the speed to handle that responsibility but at 5-foot-10 is at a disadvantage against bigger receivers. He said he has gained four pounds during the offseason and now weighs 170.
That doesn't sound like much of a difference, but Morgan said his improvement is significant.
"I'm doing way better than I did last year, and I feel more comfortable back at corner now, especially against the bigger receivers," Morgan said. "I'm able to give a bigger challenge now because of my strength."
N.C. State needs Morgan and right cornerback Jeremy Gray to be strong in the secondary. The safety position has been depleted by injuries to Javon Walker last season and Clem Johnson this fall.
DaJuan Morgan could have helped that situation, of course. But he's off earning a paycheck in Kansas City following an outstanding junior season. And DeAndre encourages him on the phone every day.