While his former classmates at Concordia Lutheran High School are celebrating snow days and trying to decide what to wear to prom, Ball State freshman quarterback David Morrison is getting a crash course on college life in Muncie.
While there really has not been much football activity since Morrison arrived on campus earlier this month due to NCAA restrictions and coaches in the midst of the stretch run of the recruiting season that culminates with National Signing Day next week, Ball State Coach Pete Lembo has stressed upon his only early enrollee that this is the time to get used to the college atmosphere and academics before spring practice begins in a few months.
“First of all, it has been wonderful to have him on campus early,” Lembo said. “The challenging thing is when a young man comes in, he arrives and then (the coaching staff) goes off campus and recruits for three weeks.”
Morrison, the 6-foot-1 quarterback that threw for 3,412 yards and 29 touchdowns as a senior with the Cadets, is getting some football work in this month. He has had weekly meetings with Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Joey Lynch and is also working out with teammates in Coach David Feeley's off-season conditioning program.
“The first month for him has been more about getting adjusted to classes, and he has had a good start there,” Lembo said. “We just want him to get the basics of making sure he is getting settled into a day-to-day routine.”
Once National Signing Day passes, the rules loosen up a little where coaches will be able to have more contact with players. That is when the teaching process will begin to pick up with Morrison.
Lembo highlighted the attributes that enabled Morrison to stand out to Ball State in the recruiting process and why the Cardinals were so eager to earn his commitment.
“He is a guy who loves the game and is willing to work at it year-round,” Lembo said. “To see what he was able to do from a leadership standpoint tangibly and intangibly leading his high school team to one of the best seasons in school history, I was not surprised because as far back as when we started recruited him, (we had a sense he could do that).”
With starting quarterback Keith Wenning gone to graduation, Lembo is in search of next season's signal caller. While redshirt sophomore Ozzie Mann, redshirt freshman Jack Milas, and junior Kyle Kamman have the experience in the system for a few years, Lembo is not discounting Morrison's chances of coming in and capturing the starting job as a true freshman.
“He is certainly a viable candidate, that is one of the reasons he is here early,” Lembo said. “Obviously those other guys have a little bit of an advantage … but it is all about having quality guys in the program with the opportunity to compete.”
Lembo also hopes Morrison assimilates himself quickly with the program and becomes a veteran by the time the rest of the incoming freshman class arrives this summer.
“We would like David to already be in that leadership mindset (this summer),” Lembo said. “We want him to be a guy other freshmen look to for support.”