Former Iowa State University defensive end Cory Morrissey is now the newest member, and the rookie member, of Nevada’s police force.

The 23-year-old, who attended high school in nearby Gilbert, was offered and actually signed a contract to play football with the Baltimore Ravens, but changed his mind.

“There’s a lot that goes into it,” Morrissey said, about all the considerations of joining the NFL and playing professional football. Married to his college sweetheart, Richelle, who, with her sister, owns three dance studios in Iowa, Morrissey felt, after considering professional football, that it wasn’t the right fit for him.

“I always wanted to do something where I could make a difference,” said Morrissey. “I’m not a ‘me’ guy. And as Police Chief Ricardo Martinez said when introducing Morrissey to the City Council recently, Morrissey wanted to return home and be closer to family, like his mother, Beverly, who still lives in Ames; and his brother, Kels, of Huxley. Morrissey’s father, Phillip, is deceased.

Morrissey felt law enforcement was what he wanted to do, and while looking for an opportunity near Ames, he worked in sales for awhile.

As he prepares to serve the community of Nevada - a community, by the way, that he’s familiar with after playing high school and AAU sports in town and visiting friends at the Story County Fair - Morrissey said he will fall back on some of the traits he learned as an Eagle Scout. “I hope for someone to look at me and know that I’m trustworthy and loyal. Accountability is a big thing, too,” he said.

“I want to make a difference in people’s lives and be there for them when they need help,” he said. And he plans to learn all he can from the other officers of Nevada, whom he has enjoyed getting to know.

On Sept. 5, Morrissey and fellow new officer Ryan Sills, will head to the Police Academy for 16 weeks of training. Sills has started some field training with officers in Nevada, and will finish up when he is done at the academy. Morrissey will have most of his local training when he’s done with the academy.

When he’s not working, Morrissey said he’s still a big football fan and loves going to the Iowa State games, as he’s done for much of his life. He also likes to watch his friends who now play in the NFL.

As for his cop job, “I’m looking forward to serving Nevada,” he said.