From the NFL to pro basketball to college hoops: Trio of former Fighting Scots in the news

By Barry McNamara
For The Register-Mail
Josie Morgan (left), Alex Tanney (middle) and Will Carius were named Midwest Conference Players of the Year when they played for Monmouth College, and the trio is continuing to make athletic news in their post Fighting Scots careers.

MONMOUTH — Monmouth College has had a good run of Midwest Conference Players of the Year in the past several seasons, and three award recipients are continuing to make athletic news in their post Fighting Scots careers.

Josie Morgan won the POY honor for the most recent women’s basketball season after averaging 15.1 points – with 55 3-pointers – and dishing out 91 assists, all team highs. She will continue her collegiate hoops career at California State University, Fullerton.

The opportunity was made possible by the year of playing time that Morgan missed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In two years on the court, Morgan totaled 519 points as the Scots went a combined 35-17, qualifying for the NCAA tournament in 2019-20 after winning the four-team MWC playoffs.

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Morgan transferred to Monmouth after playing her freshman year at Eureka College, near her hometown of Washington, Illinois. In her lone season with the Red Devils, she started all 25 games and scored 259 points. Combined, she brings 778 points of collegiate scoring to Cal State-Fullerton.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to play Division 1 basketball,” said Morgan, who has been training with the Titans of Cal State since graduating from Monmouth in May. “I’m looking forward to growing as a player and developing my skills this season to help my team be successful and win games. I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone at Monmouth who supported me and helped me get here.”

Morgan’s bachelor’s degree at Monmouth, which she earned with magna cum laude honors, was in business administration and public relations. In California, she’ll pursue a master’s degree in communications.

“My concentration for the communications program is entertainment, so I’m looking to explore that field and see what opportunities there are,” she said.

Carius topped 2,000 point mark in his career

Another basketball player who attended three colleges and earned a MWC POY honor during his Monmouth career was Will Carius. The former Pleasant Valley High School standout in the Quad Cities area got his collegiate start at Division II Northern Michigan University, where he averaged 12.3 points per game as a sophomore, before transferring to Monmouth for his junior season.

And what a season it was. The 6-foot-7 Carius won both the conference’s POY award and its Newcomer of the Year honor, averaging a whopping 25.5 points per game and 11.0 rebounds. He was named an All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and D3hoops.com.

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Carius was off to a hot start the following season, lifting the Scots to a 6-0 record with averages of 27.2 points and 12.0 rebounds before a knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the campaign.

Since he appeared in only six games, Carius was eligible to play more college basketball, despite graduating from Monmouth in May of 2020 with a degree in business administration. He chose Division I Western Illinois University and, due to the pandemic shortening his first year there, he was able to play two seasons with the Leathernecks while he pursued his graduate degree.

In 2020-21, Carius led WIU with 14.7 points per game, earning second team All-Summit League honors and a spot on the league’s All-Newcomer team. Carius followed up that with a 14.3 average in 2021-22, good for second on the team as WIU received a bid to the Basketball Classic Tournament, the Leathernecks’ first postseason appearance since 2013.

In all, Carius scored a staggering 2,043 points over the span of six college seasons – 450 at Northern Michigan, 827 at Monmouth and 766 at WIU. He became the second player in NCAA history to play at all three division levels. To put his overall point production into perspective, the career scoring record at Monmouth is Lance Castle’s 1,827 points. The career mark at WIU is the 2,248 points scored by Joe Dykstra.

Following his final season at WIU, Carius was selected to play in the Dos Equis 3x3U National Championship Tournament at the Final Four in New Orleans. He was part of the Summit League/Ohio Valley team, joined by North Dakota State’s Rocky Kreuser, Morehead State’s Tray Hollowell and Belmont’s Nicholas Muszynski.

Next up for Carius is playing professional basketball, an option he is currently pursuing.

“I should know where I’m going in the next week,” Carius said via text message on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Tanney promoted by NFL’s Eagles

Like Carius, Alex Tanney had his collegiate career extended due to injury. The record-setting quarterback was sidelined for the rest of what was scheduled to be his final year during the second game of the Scots’ 2010 season.

But in three of the four full seasons he played, Tanney was named the Midwest Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year, including his comeback season of 2011. During his time at Monmouth, Tanney helped the Scots reach the NCAA playoffs three times, quarterbacking the team to postseason wins in 2008 and 2011.

He established NCAA Division III career records in passing yards (14,249) and passing touchdowns (157). The latter mark was also a record for all NCAA quarterbacks, regardless of division, and it still stands.

During the 2009 season, Tanney threw for 3,856 yards and 44 touchdowns and was named the Melberger Award winner as Division III’s best player.

Tanney then had a nine-year career as a quarterback in the NFL with eight teams. Shortly following the announcement of his retirement while he was a member of the New York Giants, Tanney was hired to join the staff being assembled by new Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni, who was on Kansas City’s staff when Tanney was with the Chiefs in 2012.

Tanney spent his first season with the Eagles as an offensive quality control coach. The Eagles recently announced that Tanney will serve this season as the team’s assistant quarterbacks coach/offensive assistant, which figures to give him even a stronger relationship with quarterback Jalen Hurts, who is entering his second full season as Philadelphia’s starter.

In his first coaching season, Tanney supported an offense that led the NFL with team records in both rushing yards (2,715) and rushing touchdowns (25).