New Spartan Matt Morrissey Talks About His Journey to Picking Michigan State
Q: Matt, how are you buddy?
A: Iâ€™m doing pretty well. Thanks for having me.
Q: First of all, congratulations. Your parents insisted you look around but your heart was in East Lansing. Talk about the process.
A: Itâ€™s been a great process. Itâ€™s nice to get it over, for sure. But I feel that Iâ€™ve made the right choice and the best fit for me, so Iâ€™m pretty excited about joining the Spartan family.
Q: How much did you appreciate your parents putting their green and white loyalties to the side and tell you to look around at other schools?
A: Oh, so much. It was great. They helped me the whole way through the recruiting process, letting me make my own decision in going through all the different schools. By the end of it was a clear choice to me that I wanted to become a Spartan.
Q: You are coachable. Is that something that just came instinctively or is it something your parents ingrained in you?
A: I think thatâ€™s coming from the way you grow up and how your parents raise you. I think players have room to grow whether youâ€™re in high school, college or youâ€™re in the NFL. Every player can get better each year. Thatâ€™s what my dad has taught me throughout my life and throughout my career. Itâ€™s definitely a big attribute that all players should have.
Q: Your father had a great NFL career. A lot of times guys with that background become egotistical, but your father is a salt-of-the earth kinda guy. Heâ€™s humble. Are you able to step back and appreciate his athletic ability and his humility?
A: Oh, definitely. Heâ€™s taught me the right way to do it; heâ€™s been through it all. I obviously have dreams of playing in the NFL as well. Heâ€™s taught me everything that I know about football and how to be a man. Obviously heâ€™s very humble and I take that very seriously as well. Iâ€™m trying to stay as humble as possible. My parents really keep me groundedâ€¦it really helps from my family and friends. Not taking anything for granted and keep working hard every day.
Q: Your sister is a great athlete at Michigan State and your parents are Michigan State people. Through the whole process your family backed off and made this about you. So when you finally committed, who was more excited? Mom, dad or your sister?
A: I donâ€™t know who was more excited. I think my sister definitely showed it more than my parents. She was jumping off the walls, she was very excited. So I think all three of them were excitedâ€¦really, my whole family was excited for me. My sister went to Indiana and my brother went to Boston College, but I think they were just as excited for me as the other three were. Itâ€™s a great time for our family and weâ€™re all pretty excited.
Q: Now that youâ€™ve committed are you gonna be that guy that goes out and becomes a recruiter to get guys to join with you or just let guys do their own thing? How do you handle the process now?
A: I might talk to some people here and there, but Iâ€™m not gonna distract other people from their recruitment process. Iâ€™m very thankful that other people kinda stayed out of mine as well and let me make my own decision. I wanna let other people make theirs as well and not distract them or become a nuisance to their recruiting process.
Q: Who did you talk to today? Did you talk to Dantonio and Narduzzi?
A: Coach Narduzzi wasnâ€™t in today, but I did talk to Coach Dantonio. I sat down with him twice and then talked to some of the players as well. So it was pretty good.
Q: Right now, what part of your game do you think is most college-ready?
A: I would just say my ball skills are probably the best part of my gameâ€¦attracting the ball and making plays. Iâ€™m always working on different things. I think Iâ€™ve got good size and length for a safety, but they strictly have me as an athlete right now. If I play the offensive side of the ball I hope that I can contribute to them that way as well. So just wherever Coach has me play, Iâ€™d just like to contribute to the team and hopefully help them win.
Q: So theyâ€™ve talked to you about playing on the offensive side of the ball?
A: Yes, they did. Iâ€™m strictly right now as an athlete. As I grow and develop theyâ€™ll evaluate me more as I move in to camp this next summer.
Q: So for you, what do you thinkâ€¦maybe a tight end?
A: I think more of a slot receiver. They talked about an outside slot receiver. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll be able to get big enough for a tight end. But either that or on the defensive side of the ball as a safety. Also if I grow and get a little bit bigger, as an outside linebacker.
Q: With your hands it would be natural as a receiver. The way you like to inflict bodily pain on people, a slot receiverâ€¦thatâ€™s a pretty dangerous guy going across the middle right there.
A: Right. I think playing both sides of the ball is gonna help me out a lot, just knowing what defensive players are thinking and knowing what offensive players are thinking. So I think overall itâ€™s gonna help me become a better player on either side of the ball.
Q: You met with a lot of great coaches and good programs that offered you scholarships. What was it about Mark Dantonio that made you wanna play for him?
A: Itâ€™s just that I have so much respect for Coach Dantonio and the way he runs his program. It was a great chance to meet with him today. Heâ€™s such a great guy overall. Heâ€™s such a great coach, but an even better person. Just sitting down with him I just felt so comfortable talking to him about football and just about life. So I think that was a big thing. Our relationship Iâ€™m sure will grow from here on out. A big thing that he told me is that our relationship wonâ€™t be just through these next 4 or 5 years. Our relationship will last forever. That really stuck with me. That was a big thing in recruiting for me.
Q: I hear from a lot of recruits that in the recruiting process Mark Dantonio talked to them more about other things than football. Was that true for you and did you appreciate that?
A: Oh yeah, heâ€™s definitely a family guy. We talked about a lot more than just football. I definitely appreciate that. Heâ€™s an upfront guy and heâ€™s a real guy that I really appreciate. Iâ€™m just blessed and honored to play for him, and Iâ€™m excited to join his program and work as hard as I can for him.
Q: Now that youâ€™ve committed and become a Spartan athlete, what does Matt Morrissey feel like today?
A: Unbelievable. It was a great feeling driving home with my parents from East Lansing, just knowing that this is gonna be my new home. Itâ€™s an unbelievable feeling. I canâ€™t really describe it. But I couldnâ€™t be happier. Thereâ€™s not a happier kid in the world right now than I am after committing.
Q: Your parents were absolute rock stars in the way they handled recruiting. And consequently, they raised a great kid in you. Matt, congratulations buddy.
A: Thank you very much. Thanks for having me.