Several players from the state of Missouri went down to the US Army combine this past weekend to participate and help get some recognition for their athletic and football abilities.
The player who may have helped himself the most was Kansas City area running back Morgan Steward 5'11" 188lbs from Staley high school.
Steward, who put up bests of 4.4 in the forty, 4.06 in the shuttle, 38" in the vertical jump and had 22 reps of 185lbs, spoke to ShowMeMizzou.com about his performance, the combine overall and his recruitment.
"It was great! The most fun combine that I have ever been a part of," said Steward.
"After the introductions and bench press testing, we all got to go to these rooms for the athletes to hang out in where we could play Madden or Call of Duty on video and relax before going to our position groups. Coach Byers (former Ohio State RB standout Keith Byers) went over our routes with us and worked with us on things."
"On the second day, we went to the Alamo dome and got our gear and tested. I did pretty well all my testing with some personal bests. I was a little disappointed that we did not get more reps in the 1 on 1's, but I thought I did alright. I caught 3 out of 5 passes."
ShowMeMizzou.com has reported on Steward in the past and included him among the top underclassmen standout at last years Missouri one day camp in Liberty.
I asked him about his continued improvement in his physical abilities.
"I think it is just me maturing and working hard in the weight room and working on improving my speed. I am part of an AAU track team and have been working out for that."
Morgan had been receiving attention from schools such as Missouri,Wisconsin, Nebraska,Kansas State, Texas A&M,Oklahoma, Duke and Vanderbilt in the form of letters before the combine. I expect that the attention will continue to include even more schools after his combine performance.
Some of those schools have made it a little more personal.
"I would say that Missouri, Kansas State and South Dakota State are the schools who have shown the most interest",said Steward.
"Coach Hill from Missouri has been by my school and talked with Coach Bouchard. They (Missouri) has invited me to their Junior day and I will be attending it."
I asked Morgan if he had a list of schools he liked both among those recruiting him and those he hasn't heard from yet.
"I am open to everyone, but I would say Missouri,Wisconsin, Nebraska, Texas A&M, I camped there last summer and it was a good experience, along with K-State."
Steward ran for over 1,500 yards and 14 TDs while averaging just over 9 yard per carry playing fullback in Staley's offense. He will be moved to tailback for his senior season.
He broke down his path on the football field and talked about possibly playing on the other side of the ball in college.
"I started out as a TE as a freshman. Then I moved to fullback my sophomore and junior seasons. We had a very good running back named Evan Campbell who is graduating this year. Coach Bouchard has said all along that I would make the progression to tailback by my senior year."
"I played some at outside linebacker last year against Blue Springs. We don't have players that play both ways, so that was fun for me. I liked it. I liked the physical aspect of it and I would feel really confortable playing defensive back in college if they wanted me to. I just want the opportunity to play."
Morgan, who holds a 3.4 GPA and wants to major in business, broke down what he will be looking for in a college as he makes his recruiting journey.
"I want to be comfortable where I am at. I want a school with a high level is placed on academics, because when it is all set and done I am looking past football to my future and being able to live a nice life. I am also looking for a school with good coaches."
"Distance doesn't matter, but I love my family and it would be nice to be able to have them see me play."
Steward plans on attending several more camp and combine in 2011 including a Nike camp and a return to Missouri's one day camp in Kansas City.
He does not have any offers yet, but ShowMeMizzou.com will continue to follow his recruitment.
Morgan Steward is a high level athlete that could play on either side of the ball in college. He has great straight line speed and very good lateral quickness. He also has very good strength for his size.
When running the ball he displays his strength and physical nature after contact by being able to pick up extra yards. His speed in the open field is impressive and once he gets into the secondary in the open field he is not caught. He also shows a nice ability to stop,cut and accelerate to top speed very quickly. He is a very physical and devastating blocker. Blocking is an added strength of his.
I believe his speed and athleticism would translate nicely over to the defensive side of the ball, possibly at cornerback.