Iowa State defensive end Cory Morrissey continues to make a name for himself every week. He’s a leader because he’s an honest sharpshooter that isn’t coy about anything — somebody that every football player can look up to.
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This was the case in the ESPN Big 12 blog’s Q&A where they talked to the senior about multiple subjects including the upcoming game against Baylor, remembering former DE coach Curtis Bray, and…bodybuilding.
It’s refreshing to see a player on the Cyclones as tough-nosed as Morrissey. Asked on what he needed to improve on during the offseason, he cuts off the BS and delivers a seven-word answer:
"Pass rush, my speed and my strength."
He’s had a good start to the season. Morrissey currently sits with Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown (not to be confused with running back Malcolm Brown) as the Big 12 sack leader (3.5). The line’s already improved 10-fold from the opening loss to North Dakota State, containing the Iowa Hawkeye running attack two weeks ago and not letting the Hawks control the game past their second possession.
Jul 22, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Iowa State Cyclones defensive end Cory Morrissey speaks to the media during the Big 12 Media Day at the Omni Dallas. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
As for Baylor, Morrissey knows it’s a different animal. He wasn’t happy with how the team played and described it exactly like fans witnessed in horror on TV.
"It was definitely a different team. That game we came out, there was no energy, we knew Baylor was good, we accepted defeat from the beginning. There wasn’t really any fight back. We were just out there playing."
Keys to the game this week? “Do everything right.”
"We have to do everything right. We have to fit the right gaps, stop the run and against their passing game have great coverage. We just have to do everything right. We can’t make mistakes."
Morrissey talks about how the team finally knows how to battle through adversity. Things could have gone South fast against Kansas State and Iowa just like they did against NDSU, but the Cyclones didn’t let it happen. They weren’t able to find a win against KSU, but they did so against Iowa.
There’s a great chance that things could get ugly fast on Saturday night, but Iowa State just needs to weather the storm if it happens. They’ve shown they can do that.
We knew Baylor was good, we accepted defeat from the beginning.
Morrissey also had to deal with other kinds of adversity. He lost a leader after DE coach Bray passed away during the offseason, and he changed the number on his jersey to reflect Bray’s number when he played at Pittsburgh.
"Everyday I put the number on, put the jersey on, it’s a reminder of what I have to do that day and I have to go to work for him and his legacy. There’s not one thing that sticks out, but just remembering his coaching and his coaching points. I just use that every day."
Now, here’s the rest of the interview which could be talking about Morrissey’s future — bodybuilding and being a stuntman.
"If you didn’t play football what would you be doing?CM: I’d be a stuntman, body builder in California.What makes you interested in that?CM: My uncle is one, he lives the life.So you already have an in?CM: Yes, someone who could train me, but I already tell him I can do his job better than him. He’s getting old.So that’s something you’d look at in the future?CM: You never know, I could go down that road. Looks fun to me."
I, for one, am excited to see him filling in to perform stunts in the upcoming Fast & Furious 7 (or whatever one they’re on).