The 90 Illini #57: Griffin Moore
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This is another midstream adjustment. I had Moore much higher on this list when I first made it. After the graduation of Justice Williams and Bobby Walker there were only three scholarship tight ends on the roster - Daniel Barker, Luke Ford, and Griffin Moore. It was a rotation of Barker-Williams-Walker last season, so it was probably going to be a rotation of Barker-Ford-Moore this season.
Then Daniel Imatorbhebhe announced his transfer from USC. If healthy, that's your TE rotation - Barker, Ford, and Bhebhe2. Which means that Moore, as a redshirt freshman, can have another development year. Which drops him down to #57 on this list. But if Bhebhe 2 gets injured - he's missed the last two seasons with injury and half of the season before - then Moore is going to be needed out there.
57. Griffin Moore
Uniform number: 43
Year in school: Redshirt Freshman (4 years to play 4)
Height: 6'-4" -- Weight: 245 lbs.
Hometown: Bloomington, Illinois
High School: Bloomington HS
Best offers: Illinois, Illinois State
Tom Cruise rating:
2019 statistics: Did not appear in any games, redshirted.
That offer list looks a bit scary, but there's some context here. 1. He was a high school quarterback. And 2. He committed in mid-March before Offer Season in April and May. That's not to say "he would have absolutely had more offers if he had waited" - I mean, plenty of players have a great offer list by March 15th - but he did commit early. Some of those are "only Illinois State offered because his an FCS-level player" and some of those, like Nick Allegretti, are "he committed early and shut it down".
As an aside, Allegretti is basically the reason I started the Tom Cruise ratings. The fact that he was listed as a 2-star recruit when he committed seemed absolutely ludicrous. If rating him today, I would have given him 4.5 Cruises. I went as far as complaining to Doug Buschon on the sidelines of one of the Illinois practices in Chicago that spring - "HOW IS HE RATED SO LOW ON RIVALS?" (like Doug makes the ratings) - and then it dawned on me that I could just rate the players myself. I think it was around six weeks later that I debuted the Tom Cruise ratings. And I should have gone back and ranked the players already committed in the class because all you would have seen from me on Twitter when Allegretti was selected for the US Army All American Game was "SEE? FOUR STAR RECRUIT."
None of that has anything to do with Griffin Moore. I had him as a 2-Cruise recruit, not 4.5 Cruises. He's trying to do that Matt LaCosse thing - tall QB in high school who bulks up and switches to tight end in college.
Looking over our tight end situation, I really should have had walkon Alex Pihlstrom on this list. There's been a walkon tight end used as a situation blocker for, like, 10 years in a row (Bobby Walker, Nate Echard, Tim Clary, Eddie Viliunas, etc.), so I probably should consider that Pihlstrom might be next in that category.
Sorry - talking about something other than Moore again. Moore is simply a redshirt freshman tight end who is learning the position. They're still changing his body from QB to TE and I'm sure he's still learning how to block. That usually takes at least 24 months.
But, if there are any TE injuries, he might need to be ready to block after 12 months. Daniel Imatorbhebhe really helps here, but if Bhebhe2 gets injured, it's either Pihlstrom or Moore as that third TE.