By Rob Gray
AMES — A generous portion of lean protein.
Heaps of fruits and vegetables.
Therein lie the contents of Iowa State defensive end Cory Morrissey’s plate — day after day, meal upon meal, almost without fail.
“It’s strict,” said Morrissey, who grew up in Gilbert and stands as the Cyclones No. 1 right defensive end in fall camp. “(Defensive ends) coach (Curtis) Bray always picks on me for that.”
But the proof’s in the protein powder.
And egg yolks, too.
“The funny thing about Cory is he’s a 19-year-old junior and he weighs 250 pounds,” Bray said. “And I don’t think he’s done growing. He’s rocked up and takes great care of his body.”
It’s required when pressuring the quarterback entails snaking through — or sweeping past — hulking 300-pound plus offensive tackles.
“I’m just playing hard as always, but taking all the coaching one step at a time,” Morrissey said.
Morrissey, who said he’s packed on 10 pounds of muscle in the last year, didn’t play the last seven games last season as a lingering groin injury finally pushed him to the sideline.
He totaled seven tackles — two for loss — in 2012, while notching one quarterback hurry and forcing a fumble.
“His effort’s always been there,” Bray said. “Here’s a guy who played linebacker in high school and played defensive end one year in junior college and came in last year and played a little bit. I would say (his improvement’s based on) knowing our defense and getting the finer things in terms of technique down.”
Both of Morrissey’s tackles behind the line of scrimmage and the caused fumble came in the season-opening win over Tulsa.
That’s also when he injured his groin, which, he said in the spring, at times made simple, non-football movements extremely painful.
He’s fully healthy now — and fortified by discipline at the training table and beyond.
“I usually don’t eat sweets,” said Morrissey, who does allow himself an occasional cheat meal to stoke the metabolism. “If I do it’s a rare occasion; maybe because I think I deserve it once in a while.”
Dessert, he said, will be served and enjoyed when he records his first sack as a Cyclone.
Amping up the pressure on opposing quarterbacks qualifies as an appetizer, then.
Bray said that quality showed up early last season for ISU, but dwindled as high-powered Big 12 offenses peppered the slate week to week.
“You’ve got to be able to make plays,” Bray said.
Morrissey’s strictly committed to doing that, beginning with what he puts in his body.
“I eat, probably, worse things every day than he’s eaten in the last six months,” Bray said.
Comments are closed.