Looks Like University Of Illinois - Griffin Moore

Mar 18, 2018

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If I was in charge of recruiting rankings, I would add a category for "jumbo ATH". Kids that might be a WR and might be a CB and might be a S get labeled as "ATH". Kids that might be a DE and might be a TE don't really get a category. And that's the category wehre Griffin Moore belongs.

It's a very Iowa & Wisconsin category. Remember David Edwards? He should have been labeled as "jumbo ATH". A high school quarterback who we wanted as a tight end and Wisconsin wanted as an offensive tackle. He picked Wisconsin offensive tackle. He'll now be an All American next year and then go off to the NFL. Noah Fant at Iowa? Nebraska wanted him as a defensive end. Iowa wanted him as a tight end. He picked Iowa and will now be first team All Big Ten next year. Joining him at Iowa is Drew Cook who, you guessed it, was a high school quarterback moved to tight end.

They don't have to be high school quarterbacks, mind you (Griffin Moore is a high school quarterback but won't be a QB in college - I probably should have mentioned that). There's also recruits like Julian Pearl in our 2018 class who moved around in high school from tight end to defensive end to offensive line and... might play defensive end and might be more of a blocking tight end and might be an offensive tackle. And they don't necessarily always end up on the line. Jeff Cumberland was a Jumbo ATH who played more WR than anything at Illinois. And current junior WR Caleb Reams started at TE and was maybe headed to DE and has now landed at WR.

The point: some players have a clear position. Bennett Williams was brought to Champaign to be a safety. Ricky Smalling was always going to be a wide receiver. Other recruits aren't so simple. You like that they're fast and dart-y so you bring them in to maybe play tailback and maybe play defensive back or maybe play wide receiver (an ATH). Or, they're big and they still move around pretty well so you bring them in to maybe play TE or maybe play DE or maybe even bulk up for offensive tackle.

Which brings us to Griffin Moore, who is (likely) being brought in to play tight end. His film in high school is mostly quarterback and a little tight end and even some outside linebacker. You remember this kid in your high school conference. He was bigger than all your guys, he probably played basketball too, and on the football field he played something silly like quarterback + middle linebacker.

Now, Moore isn't a highly-ranked recruit. You can't really pay much attention to that in March - he could have had ten offers by June, perhaps even Iowa (where he visited last fall) or Wisconsin - but his ranking (2-star per 247's own ratings) and offers (only us and Illinois State) should be noted. This is a pure film eval thing for the coaching staff: they see him playing quarterback and say "we can turn that kid into a tight end". Reminds me of Julian Pearl this time last year. They focused on an in-state guy not too far from Champaign who has some traits they think they can develop. If this was a basketball recruit, it's a project like Greg Eboidbodin.

Which is why it's hard to give ratings to kids like this. Watching his film, there's not much tight end work, and when there is, there's not much blocking film (which is everything for a tight end). It's mostly him as a high school quarterback, ducking out of the pocket and scrambling for 25 yards. So, of any position, Jumbo ATH is the hardest to read because you don't know exactly what the coaches are going for. Current sophomore Brandon Jones was like this. Did the coaches see an eventual defensive lineman? I think Bill Cubit did, but Lovie moved him to fullback last year (and maybe H-Back this year?). It's hard to know what the plan will be.

So I play it safe with Tom Cruises on players like this. He's a project, much like Julian Pearl, and now we wait and see what the coaches have in mind. So...

Griffin Moore - Two Tom Cruises.


orangejulius on March 18, 2018 @ 06:59 PM

I would give him 3 TC. If you google him, you find that he excels in basketball, so he's a really good athlete, he's smart (4.2 GPA), from a good family (Dad is the h.s. principal), and probably under-recruited because he's been playing QB in a run offense. Prototypical TE size. Oh, and based on his Junior film, he can actually throw the ball, so maybe pencil him in for some trick plays. This isn't a kid we settled for late in the game. There have been too many of those. I see him as a guy who we snatched up early before other schools could get involved.

gman on March 18, 2018 @ 11:31 PM

If this kid played quarterback and had good eyes for the field, it would seem a natural middle linebacker with his size and that he was a running qb.

John Case on March 19, 2018 @ 04:51 PM

I don't think this kid fits the system to play QB at Illinois. That said, he has phenominal throwing release, timing and field vision. I don't love the way he runs and he kind of rolls through his cuts instead of any suddenness. Theres just an effortlessness to his passing and receiving skills that I knew he was a good basketball player before I looked it up. This kid is a naturally coordinated athlete. Not a workout product. This is the most intriguing commit in years for Illinois on film because I have no idea what he will be in college. I'm not convinced this kid isn't a high end qb in college. Like really high end.

BelieveInIllinois on March 19, 2018 @ 11:47 PM

I like this recruitment. Every team needs a big guy that can block and catch the occasional pass.

Robert, are you going to publish an end of recruiting year recap?

mkillini on March 31, 2018 @ 06:38 PM

Instead of playing it safe, which makes you look like your throwing darts in the dark, why don’t you project where these guys will be. Show us some true evaluation skills. Bennett Williams 1.5 stars? How could you be that wrong? Let’s see some real effort on this.

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