Coach Speak: Zach Morton

Cass Tech's head coach, Thomas Wilcher, breaks down what Syracuse is getting in three-star Zach Morton.

Syracuse had a big day on Tuesday landing Zach Morton out of Cass Tech in Detroit (Mich.). Morton will play defensive end for the Orange. 

Morton brings a somewhat shy demeanor to Syracuse, according to Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher. He is also a smart, coachable young man who is an asset to their program. 

Beyond that, Morton has a desire and will to succeed that stems from his parents. Combine that with raw athletic ability and you have someone with a lot of potential.

"Zach is a kid who has immeasurable work ethic," coach Wilcher said. "He's in the weight room twice a day. He was a basketball player who could dunk the ball all types of ways in our slam dunk contest just to give you some background into what kind of athlete he is. 

"He's motivated. He has a father that pushes him, believes in him, encourages him and just wants to see the best out of him. He played a lot last season through a shoulder injury. He's working out a lot harder this year. He's trying to get the shoulder straightened up, which he has. 

"His bench press is up," he continued. "His squat's up. Power cleans are up. I'm expecting big things out of Zach. He went to his first Nike camp and made the best of the best. He made the top three. So he's got a lot of things going for him."

Morton has the skills necessary to transition well to the college game as a defensive end. In fact, he points to one drill in particular as evidence of his ability. 

"The most important thing that Zach does is that he has the athleticism to be flexible," coach Wilcher said. "He does this drill where he works as a defensive end and has to snatch the towel up. He has to dip his shoulder. He can dip that shoulder baby. 

"He can dip and rip. I've seen him do it on tape where he beat a couple guys. Just dips and rips. He has a lot of upside. His dad is about 6-6. His mom is over six feet tall. So he's a big kid."

Wilcher said he believes Morton could add as much as 50 pounds to his frame without losing his quickness and explosiveness. No doubt the Orange coaches will be trying to do just that when he arrives on campus. 

It is clear coach Wilcher believes that Morton has all of the physical tools necessary to become a force at the college level. That begs the question, what about the mental part of the game?

"He learns," coach Wilcher said. "He catches on quick. He's able to do things a lot better because he catches on real quick with schemes and things. So it doesn't slow him down."

Coach Wilcher frequently referenced Morton's upside when discussing him as a player. So what kind of player could he become if he reaches his ceiling?

"Ceiling?" Wilcher asked. "Is there one?"

That pretty much says it all. 


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