Frank Morton is one of the most sought after Georgia prospects of the 2004 class. This OL/DT is gaining interest from some of the top programs in the country; however, Ohio State appears as though it may be the frontrunner in a long list of offers.
Morton, out of Southwest Dekalb HS (GA), camped at Ohio State and measured in at 6'2½", 278 lbs, and ran a 4.85 forty. "Ohio State stands out," explains Morton. "I like the facilities and the coaches. They have good player coaches. They help you by going off your skill and adding their knowledge. I like their technique of teaching."
Morton says he performed well at camp and performed best in the 1-on-1 drills, pass rushing, and catching the ball on screen drills. He felt Buckeye coaches Luke Fickell (special teams) and Jim Heacock (defensive line) had a lot of good advice. "The most important thing I learned from them is a jab step to get your hands on the offensive lineman before he gets his hands on you," explains Morton. "My coach teaches this, but we just learned different techniques."
Morton is gaining attention from all the big programs in the ACC, SEC, Big 10, and Big 12. He gives an impressive list of offers: Ohio State, Middle Tennessee State, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi State, Auburn, and Alabama. He says he will make a final decision after a couple of the 2003 season games when the coaches have a chance to see some more film.
As far as improving his game for the collegiate level, Morton as an interesting workout regiment. Every morning, Morton, along with his coach and the defensive and offensive line at Southwest Dekalb HS visit the local YMCA for water aerobics. "We do all the same drills in the water as we do in the grass," explains Morton. "It makes you faster doing drills in the water because the water is holding you back and you understand you really need to use you arms when you run, too."
Morton is a hard-working, physical player who has been working a lot on his endurance. He plays both ways in high school and projects to be a defensive player in college. However, Morton explains, "I work a lot on endurance in case I play both ways in college because it is a lot harder playing both ways in college than in high school. After we practice and lift I run miles, 40s, and 80s with the line to work on our endurance."
"On defense, I like to hit, and on offense I like to get pancakes – no holding back. I play football to the fullest and leave it all on the field," say Morton. He also says that one of his biggest strengths is getting in to opposing players heads.
Morton has high hopes this season for his team despite a 6-5 record last season. The Southwest Dekalb squad has 15 returning players. Morton recorded 128 tackles, 24 tackles and for loss, and 8 sacks in the 2003 campaign earning him All-County defensive honors and All-County honorable mention honors for his success on the offensive side of the ball.
Morton says the most important thing he can bring to a college program is leadership. He says the coaches at the Ohio State camp stressed this heavily. "They talked about all the seniors going back to their teams and being leaders because the younger players will be looking up to us."
His success can be credited to coaches Reaves and Wheat of Southwest Dekalb. "They just want me to do well. They will make or break me. They just want me to be the defensive lineman in the country," explains Morton.
Morton plans on majoring in physical therapy in college. "If I don't make it to the NFL," says Morton, " I would like to still be around the game because that is what I love, and maybe I can use what I know about the game to help other players."