By Ian Smith, CycloneFanatic.com Contributor
Follow Ian on Twitter @IanWsmith3
AMES –Cory Morrissey is intimidating figure on the football field and in the kitchen.
In his world, “fried food” is a bad word. Don’t even think about eating French fries when he’s around.
It’s that kind of dedication that is helping the Ames native live his dream – playing for Iowa State.
Morrissey signed his letter of intent to play for the Cyclones in December and officially met the media on Wednesday during Iowa State’s Signing Day press conference.
“I’d always imagined, or dreamed, that I’d play at Iowa State and now it comes true,” Morrissey said.
A chiseled 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, Morrissey’s path to Iowa State started in the Gilbert High School weight room where he took an early interest in fitness and nutrition. In fact, Morrissey enjoys it so much he plans on studying kinesiology at Iowa State.
It fits his workaholic attitude, says Gilbert coach Scott Auderer.
“On and off the football field Cory has a blue-collar mentality,” Auderer said. “He has worked for everything he has and has never been given anything.
“No one will out work him in the weight room or on nutrition. He has more knowledge than 99 percent of college athletes on how to build his body to reach his highest potential. He is the most dedicated individual I have ever met at that age in the weight room and it shows.”
Morrissey racked up 208 tackles and more than 1,000 yards rushing in two years for the Tigers, but it was at linebacker and running back. Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads – who watched him grow up at Gilbert because his sons go to the school – challenged Morrissey to bulk up and play on defensive line.
“I knew in high school that I’m obviously not a running back,” Morrissey said. “My body type is not that. When Coach (Rhoads) hinted I should play defensive line, I knew what he was talking about. I knew if I wanted to play at the highest level, I would have to put my hand down.”
After one season at Iowa Western, Morrissey will wear the Cardinal and Gold.
“Going into Iowa Western, I was working on the goal of going to Iowa State.,” Morrissey said. “Nothing was going to stop me. I was bent on that.”
Morrissey was named honorable mention All-Midwest Football Conference after tallying 35 tackles and four sacks for the Reivers. Oh, he also helped mentor his teammates on healthy living.
“I watch people loading up on the fried foods because they were away from their parents and they didn’t know how to eat,” Morrissey said. “I’m over there and I’m like, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t eat that, you should eat that.’ I help out my friends and it helps my own weight out knowing what to eat.”
Iowa State coaches kept a watchful eye on Morrissey and offered him a scholarship in December. He accepted almost immediately.
“I think he is the quickest commit I’ve been around,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. “After the offer he stopped me and said, ‘Can I commit now? Or do I have to wait.”’
Now, Morrissey is anxious to play at Jack Trice Stadium. He has imagined himself suiting up for the Cyclones ever since he attended his first game with his grandpa.
“It’s going to be surreal,” Morrissey said. “It’s going to be crazy. My eyes are going to be huge.”
Iowa State is getting a good one. Here’s what Gilbert coach Scott Auderer had to say about Morrissey.
“On and off the football field, Cory has a blue-collar mentality. He has worked for everything he has and has never been given anything. No one will out work him in the weight room or on nutrition. He has more knowledge than 99 percent of college athletes on how to build his body to reach his highest potential. He is the most dedicated individual I have ever met at that age in the weight room and it shows.”
“Off the field he is focused on not only the big picture but the small steps he needs to take in order to make the big picture a reality. He is a quality young man that ISU will love to have.”