Saturday, 20th July 2024

6/7/10: One-on-One with Reese Morgan

Posted on 07. Jun, 2010 by in Iowa Football

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Thank you for visiting HawkeyeDrive.com. On Monday, I went to the Amana Colonies and attended the Iowa County I-Club spring banquet. At the conclusion of the evening program, I was fortunate enough to get a brief one-on-one interview with offensive line coach Reese Morgan.

HawkeyeDrive.com (HD): For you to be able to speak at an I-Club and do this every year, what’s it like for you to come out here and get to know people across the state?

Reese Morgan: I think it’s a very unique and appreciative moment. In the state of Iowa, there’s a real grass-roots support, and it’s not just one or two big donors or corporations. Everybody in their own way makes a contribution. It’s really nice to get out and see the people in their territory, in their comfort zone and atmosphere, and to meet them and thank them personally for their support. I think it’s really good for all of us as coaches to come out and see the kind of enthusiasm that is created and the kind of true genuine support that there is in all parts of the state.

HD: You heard Coach [Fran] McCaffery talk about all the support he has gotten and how he is appreciative of that. What did you take away from hearing him speak [Monday]?

Morgan: I think he understands what Iowa is about. I think he appreciates it, looks forward to raising his family here, and he’s looking forward to the opportunity to be here. He knows how the fans are hungry right now and wants to do things the right way, as he mentioned several times in his speech today.

HD: One of your players, Brett Greenwood, was here [Monday]. How much of a better player do you feel he has become?

Morgan: I think he’s a self-made guy. He’s a guy that’s very driven, very focused and had a goal in mind, that nothing was going to get in the way. He overcame a number of obstacles to get to where he is at and has prepared extremely well. He’ll do that in every phrase. He’ll do it in the classroom, he’ll do it in his life after football, and that’s just a credit to him and his parents.

HD: You talked about the offensive line and mentioned Riley [Reiff] and Julian [Vandervelde] as guys that you’re expecting for leadership. What did you notice in the spring that makes you feel they will be better linemen than they were a year ago?

Morgan: I think, in Riley’s case, he goes against Adrian Clayborn every snap in spring ball. I think that’s a ‘Hey, you better be ready to go,’ because it’s going to be competitive, it’s going to be challenging, so he does that every snap. He’s a guy that’s very hard-working, a quiet, humble young guy. Very passionate about the game. Julian is an intelligent guy, has experience, has some leadership abilities. We got to get him a little more consistent from that standpoint, but boy. I think the one thing they have in common is they are both high-character guys. Great work ethic, and very team-oriented.

HD: Now during your speech, you talked about how you felt James Ferentz was one of the most improved players. What does that say about him when you consider where he was at this time a year ago?

Morgan: I think he’s changed a lot. I really think he has matured tremendously. I think he’s really focused in on things, and he’s learned. He’s learned through a lot of his experience. I’m just so pleased with the way he approaches football, the way he approaches school, his work ethic. I think he has just made tremendous progress in all areas.

HD: You talked about what the schedule is like for the players going through the strength and conditioning with Coach [Chris] Doyle. What are the things that you and the rest of the coaching staff work on at this point in time to get the team prepared, so that way come fall camp, everybody is ready to go?

Morgan: From a legality standpoint, we can’t work with the players. Only our strength and conditioning staff can. But in the meantime, we’re doing opponent preparation. We’re preparing materials for guys to do self-studies, so guys can do homework, so to speak, in the summer so they can study opponents, learn fundamentals. We’ll put together practice lesson plans for our guys, for our GAs, and our strength coaches will work with, so our guys can work on skill development this summer as well.

— by Brendan Stiles

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