LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - Auburn University turf management student Wilson Morgan will head to the upcoming Super Bowl in Atlanta to train under legendary sports field groundskeepers.
"I wanted to work outside, I didn't want to be in an office every day from 9-5, but I didn't want to be a farmer stuck on a tractor all day," said Morgan, who's from Limestone County.
He found an education track that fit just that. He's working toward a bachelor of science in in crop soils and environmental sciences with a specialty in sports turf. And there's a lot more to turf management than you might think.
"You take basic turf grass, you go into advanced turf grass, weed science where you study herbicides, plant pathology where you study fungicides, entomology where you study insecticides," he explained. "So hopefully when you get out of your four-year degree, you know every issue that can arrive in turf grass and either how to cure it or prevent it."
Morgan has worked with Auburn turf management and interned with the Miami Dolphins, but his experience is about to reach new levels. He'll be starting his year at the Super Bowl as part of the Toro Super Bowl Sports Turf Training Program. He's the first Auburn student to receive the honor in the contest's 16-year history.
"This program is wanting to help me become the best groundskeeper I can be so they're going to want somebody who can do the same thing in their career," Morgan said.
Morgan will arrive in Atlanta one week before the big game. He'll get hands-on experience in turf maintenance, field lining, logo painting, irrigation maintenance, field prep and clean-up.
But no matter where he's on the turf, it's the aspect of being part of a team that keeps him loving his job.
"It's always the grounds crew, or the turf crew. And being able to put all our heads together, that's exciting being able to work with great guys," he said.
You can read more about the program and Morgan's career at Auburn by reading this Auburn University article.