May 12, 2007

Move to fullback suits Morse well

Tough, competitive, hard working, unselfish. Those are some of the personality traits that coaches look for when they mold a player into a fullback at the college level. Such is the case for redshirt freshman Brett Morse, who changed positions from linebacker to fullback this spring, which is a move that suits him well, according to his former high school coach.

"He's one of these guys that is just a great competitor, a hard worker, and a leader," said Tony Lombardi. "He's extremely coachable and he's kind of an overachiever, but at the same time, he's a great athlete. He'll run in the high 4.6's or 4.7's at 245 pounds and he can make you miss. Don't get me wrong, he's not Barry Sanders, but he finds a way to come out the other end of the pile. When he's got the ball in his hands, he's going to find a way to get you plus three on every play."

Lombardi, who is now the head coach at Cedar Rapids Washington, coached Morse at Hinsdale Central in Illinois. As a high school quarterback, the current Hawkeye rushed for 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns during his senior year. Lombardi, who led Washington to a 6-3 record in his first year at the school last season, had the chance to get down to Iowa City several times this spring to watch his former pupil.

"With them moving him to fullback, if they teach him how to block, which I watched him during the spring and he's really gotten much better, I think he can do quite well," Lombardi said. "Throughout the course of spring ball, I probably made it to five or six practices and he really progressed quickly. One thing he's got going for him is he's a phenomenal receiver. When they threw him the ball, he did a great job catching it and getting up field."

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