Friday, July 8, 2011

the recruit: Kwontie Moore

Name: Kwontie Moore
Position: MLB
Hometown: Norfolk
School: Norfolk Christian
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 243

24/7: 95; four stars; #3 ILB; VA #4; US #97
ESPN: 79; four stars; #10 ILB
Rivals: 5.8; four stars; #1 ILB; US #116
Scout: three stars

Other offers: Virginia Tech, Oregon, Tennessee, Arkansas, North Carolina, NC State, Connecticut, assorted others

It only makes sense to follow Will Wahee with his teammate Kwontie Moore, because the latter committed to UVA less than 48 hours after the former.  And, with apologies to the previous three recruits, Moore is the guy who really got the class started; he was the first to commit to UVA who had offers elsewhere.

And those offers above are just the start; in other words, they're the ones that the services seem to be in agreement on.  Depending on who you ask, Moore might also have had offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, Georgia, Stanford - this is the annoying thing about the NCAA's asinine rule about no written offers til August 1 of a player's senior year.  At any rate there's one indisputable thing: Kwontie Moore is a national recruit from UVA's own backyard.  He's a consensus top-five guy in the state, and has been since just after his junior year.  And as I type this, Moore is in Oregon attending the (probably over-hyped, in my opinion) Nike event that they've dubbed "The Opening" for the best recruits in the country.

Moore's name has been out there for a while, in fact, making the all-conference team as a sophomore.  On both offense and defense.  He's too big a guy to play receiver like most two-way players, so he totes the rock as a running back instead.  Linebacker all the way in college, of course.  "Motor" is a word you see in several different places, and he racked up over 150 tackles during his junior year, when he moved back to middle linebacker from the D-line.  The scouting reports portray a very strong player without super-elite athleticism, but more than enough quickness to play in space and go sideline to sideline, and plenty of smarts.  Recruit757 calls him "a muscle-bound stud with a heart of gold."

Man-love aside,** the last part of that compliment is as important as the first part.  Moore's the outgoing type who's already been instrumental in landing and keeping a couple commitments for UVA and plans to play the kind of recruiting role that Clifton Richardson (among others) did for UVA last year.  He's emblematic of the change in the recruiting dynamic that Mike London has brought to Charlottesville: I remain something of an Al Groh apologist, but it's undeniable what Mike London has brought to recruiting, and the main thing that wasn't there before is the contingent of players who will carry the flag for UVA in the high schools.  Kwontie Moore is that kind of guy.

If Moore was a lesser recruit, I'd guarantee a redshirt, as his freshman year will be Steve Greer's senior season, and Henry Coley is the current heir apparent at middle linebacker.  We don't know for sure what Coley will bring, though, nor do we know how much the coaches will insist on platooning Greer the way they did last year.  So the events of this season will have a big effect on Moore, more so, I'd say, than many recruits.  If Greer doesn't platoon and plays most of the snaps, I'd bet on Moore making early inroads onto the two-deep.  If Coley plays a lot, especially as the year goes on, then it may be that UVA can afford to redshirt Moore and ease him into the lineup.  I suspect Moore is the type that it'll be very hard to keep on the bench, and there's just a ton of potential for all-conference honors and such as Moore grows into an upperclassman.  For purposes of 2012, come signing day he'll be one of this class's crown jewels.

**I hate the word "stud" as it applies to recruiting and will never, ever use it on this site in my own words.  For chrissake we are not bringing the kid in to breed him.  The only reason I even bothered here was for the "heart of gold" thing.

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