So, yeah, Scout and Rivals are both reporting that Ohio tight end Brandon Moore has picked Michigan. Which is like, yow, man. Moore is a top 100 kid to both sites who started picking up major offers last summer, when Georgia dropped one on him. By November -- three months before the previous class' Signing Day -- he had picked up a Nebraska offer:
For much of the game, that player was 6-foot-6, 235-pound hybrid tight end Brandon Moore.(Moore would be held to two catches for nine yards in that game. Frowns.) On or around Signing Day Moore's list would look like so:
Thomas may not have known that Moore, a junior, has already received scholarship offers to play at schools like Georgia and Nebraska. But on the field, Thomas, 6-0, 175 pounds, cared little for Moore's credentials.
Stanford, Nebraska, Georgia, Mississippi, Illinois, LSU and Clemson have already previously offered the Southwest Ohio standout, but he netted two more major offers on Wednesday.That is a hell of a lot of attention. By the time of his commitment he had thirty-some offers, including Florida, Miami and Notre Dame. Kid is unmistakably big time.
One school who didn't offer, puzzlingly: Ohio State. They are having to pick recruits very carefully in a year of limited scholarships and a great deal of instate talent, but, um, Moore would appear to be one of the most highly coveted tight ends in the country. He's certainly got a higher profile than Toledo TE Kevin Koger, who Michigan and Ohio State are fighting over. The Buckeye Planet thread on Moore reads precisely like any internet discussion of Jonas Gray amongst Michigan fans: confusion, anger, rationalization, and overriding faith in the wise decisions of the God Emperor. (Except for that last one.)
So what do we have in Moore? A 6'6", 243 pound tight end -- he's definitely a tight end -- with "hands the size of tennis rackets" according to Jeremy Crabtree($) at Rivals. As a junior he wasn't targeted much, with only twenty catches (or 25, depending on the articles you read), but the vagaries of high school quarterbacking make evaluating receivers based on stats a dodgy proposition. ESPN has filed a suprisingly negative scouting report($) given the accolades and offers he's collected:
Moore is an impressive physical specimen and looks the part of a big- time college prospect. However, he is currently caught in the middle and a bit one-dimensional -- does not have the speed and elusiveness of a wide receiver and we have yet to see the in-line blocking skill of a dominate [sic] tight end. ... He is missing an explosive release, sharp route running (most are rounded) and the ability to create separation on cornerbacks. Although he is very athletic, he does not show the deceptive ability to slip by linebackers and settle in open space.It does go on to say he's "dripping with potential" (so that's what that is -- phew) and has "some of the highest upside in the class," so there's that. You can see some highlights for yourself at Scouting Ohio, though they're unnecessarily small.
Update: Moore video now on Youtube so that it can be perused full-size: