Tanner Morgan is thankful. He’s thankful for the opportunity to live out his dream as a college quarterback and for the extra season with Minnesota thanks to the COVID-19 eligibility waiver.

More than anything, Morgan is thankful to call himself a Golden Gopher for life. The program is likely thankful for his efforts over the past six seasons at Huntington Bank Stadium. 

Morgan returned to action for the first — and final — time in Minnesota’s 28-20 Pinstripe Bowl victory over Syracuse since suffering a concussion last month.

Athan Kaliakmanis filled the void admirably in place of the five-year starter, throwing for 470 yards and two scores during his three starts under Morgan’s guidance.

Morgan spoke about what the teaching role with Minnesota meant to him and being able to finish out his career in the Pinstripe Bowl.

“I think going back to when I got hurt the second time, just the care that I received in terms of my personal health and who I am as a football player. Me and coach had a conversation about just stepping into whatever role I could. I think I really embraced that and had a lot of fun doing it. Thankful that I got to that point and to step on the field one last time.”

Morgan replaced Kaliakmanis after the redshirt freshman suffered a lower-body injury during the second quarter, and threw for 58 yards and two touchdowns.