Generating A Spark

He's the tallest tree in the forest, but Waunakee running back Leo Musso packs a powerful punch. With gaudy junior numbers and solid testing numbers, Musso has been gaining plenty of interest on the recruiting front.

MADISON - There's little debate that college football is a game of size and strength. From the trenches to the skill positions, the bigger and stronger players are, the bigger advantage that player has when it goes up against a player that doesn't equal up to his skill set.

At 5-foot-10 and just 190 pounds, Waunakee running back Leo Musso is often at a disadvantage. One wouldn't know it by his stats.

Musso shown throughout his junior season that size is not his big disadvantage. In helping Waunakee to another WIAA Division 2 Championship, Musso rushed for 2,005 yards, an average of 8.1 yards per carry, and 35 touchdowns last season.

They way Musso sees it, a smaller running back is a lot tougher to tackle.

"That's definitely one of the things that's in my corner," Musso told Badger Nation of his size. "This is what I am, so I try to make the most of it."

Make the most of it, and increase. In addition to building strength during his school's track season, Musso has made a habit of spending time in the weight room. As a result, Musso has put on 15 pounds since the end of the football season, a number he is hopeful will keep climbing to make his body more durable.

"I've definitely seen a growth in weight and strength over the winter," Musso said. "I just went ridiculously hard on the weights and eating everything in sight. I am trying to pack on the healthy pounds."

Musso has been visited by a handful of I-A schools like North Dakota, North Dakota State and Northern Iowa, but has gotten visited from some Division 1 schools like Northern Illinois and Wyoming along with some BCS schools in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"It's been quite a lot of coaches coming through, so it's been a lot of fun," Musso said. "I like seeing them come in and it's great having them come through the school and see who is interested in me."

Some of that interest has been spurred by his impressive performance at the Nike Sparq Combine in Chicago, an event that tests athletes pro agility, vertical jump, the 40-yard dash and power ball toss. Musso placed him as one of the top five best rating outcomes of the Sparq Combine tours this past year – finishing with a 4.6 in a 40-yard dash, 4.12 in the pro agility, 40 inches in the vertical jump and 39.5 feet in the power ball toss.

"Personally, I was really happy about that," Musso said of the late March Combine. "My coach, Coach Rice, told me a lot of coaches called and asked for film after the combine."

Despite all the new interest, Musso is still searching for that first scholarship offer, meaning he will be hitting the camp circuit hard starting next month. Musso plans on going to the Northwestern Showcase (a camp with a lot of MAC schools in attendance), Northern Illinois, Western Michigan and Wisconsin.

Although the Badgers are only taking one running back in this class, Musso was still a fixture on the sidelines during Wisconsin's spring practices, and the Badgers coaching staff has had steady dialogue with him since Musso attended Wisconsin's junior day in February. As far as Musso is concerned, he's willing to do whatever it takes.

"We haven't really talk about what position I would play if I were to go to Wisconsin, but offensive coordinator Paul Chryst stopped by my school a couple times and talked about going to summer camp," Musso said. "It's a tough situation with them only taking one running back, but I am hoping to play any position where I can contribute."

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