Matt Morrissey's top three favorites, in no order, are Michigan State, Illinois and Boston College. (Allen Trieu / Scout.com)
Michigan State has one legacy commit in the 2014 class already in linebacker Byron Bullough and they are hoping to add one more with Matt Morrissey, a 6-3, 180-pound safety from Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill. He was offered by the Spartans this week.
Ironically, Bullough's father, Shane Bullough, played with Morrissey's father, Jim Morrissey, who went on to an NFL career with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers. Being around football all his life, the younger Morrissey developed quickly and was able to quickly make an impact upon reaching the high school level.
"Matt has played varsity football since his freshman year," Stevenson head coach Bill McNamara said. "He has been a two-way starter since his sophomore year. He has so many positive attributes that make him a great player. Matt has that unique combination of size and speed, and he has an incredible nose for the football. Simply put, he has game."
Last season, Morrissey was an all-state selection on the field and academic all-state off of it. Classroom smarts and field smarts do not always go hand in hand, but this is one case where it does.
"Matt is also a great student, and this transfers onto the football field," McNamara said. "He watches and studies film often and understands the game, his opponents, and the players he is matched up with. He is also an awesome leader for our team. He continually motivates our players to lift their level of play and models this with his good work ethic."
All of those attributes allowed Morrissey to bring in early offers from Toledo, Illinois and Boston College, where his older brother played. That family connection, he said recently, gives him a great deal of comfort with the Eagles. However, the family ties to MSU go even deeper than just his father, as his mother is also an alum and sister Anna is currently a student-athlete there, as well.
"Our house has been a Spartan house," he said. "It's fun, I've been there before and I'm very familiar with the school. My sister is there now playing basketball, so I've visited before, I know it well, and they have an awesome campus."
With his size and versatility, Morrissey could project to a few different positions, including wide receiver, linebacker and safety, where he is currently projected by Scout. He says the Spartan staff has told he will be recruited as an athlete and could play on either side of the ball.
He hopes to make a decision before his senior season starts, and currently says he has a top three of Michigan State, Illinois and Boston College, in no order. He admits that the Spartans in his family are in his ear a little bit about eventually donning the green and white, but ultimately will allow him the time and space he needs to make an important decision.
"They like to poke fun a little bit but really just let it be my decision, and I appreciate that from them," he said. "They let me pick the best spot for me. It's not them that's going to be there the next four years, so they're happy with me making my own decision."
Wherever he decides, that school will be getting a coach's dream.
"Simply put," McNamara said, "Matt Morrissey is the complete package as a football player and more important, as a person."
In addition to his family ties, Morrissey also plays 7-on-7 with Core 6 Athletes, where Spartan commits Brian Allen and Chase Gianacakos also train.
Cotton has MSU in top three
Another Illinois-based safety, O'Fallon (Ill.) High School's Micquell Cotton, told Scout this week that he has a top three of Michigan State, Syracuse and Indiana. He hopes to visit each of those programs along with Iowa State before making a decision sometime this month.
Offers continue to go out
MSU recently offered Warren (Ohio) Harding class of 2015 prospects James Daniels, and Danish exchange student Hjalte Froholdt. Daniels is a 6-3, 250-pound center who has offers from Iowa, Penn State, Indiana and others. His brother, Leshun Daniels, will be a freshman running back at Iowa this fall. Froholdt is a 6-5, 275-pound defensive lineman with offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Arkansas and more. The Spartans signed safety Jalyn Powell from Harding in the 2013 class.
Cosby High (Midlothian, Va.) defensive end Tyler Powell was offered Thursday. A 6-4, 252-pound rising senior, Powell has 18 offers, including Cincinnati, Syracuse, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and Purdue.
According to Scout's Chad Simmons, Columbia High (Decatur, Ga.) teammates Terrone Prescod, an offensive lineman, and outside linebacker Deshon Cooper, were both offered by Michigan State this week. Both say they could make summer decisions and both have an offer list that is into the double digits.
Matt Morrissey profile: http://bit.ly/ZhuMVN
James Daniels profile: http://bit.ly/136zplX
Micquell Cotton profile: http://bit.ly/18Cbm0t
Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan State recruiting column appears every Friday at detroitnews.com. For more on MSU recruiting, visit michiganstate.scout.com.