Jul 12, 2009

Moore Than Meets The Eye


The Fighting Irish gained their 12th commitment for the incoming class of 2010 Saturday, when Kendall Moore announced his intentions of attending Notre Dame. The inside linebacker is the first linebacker to commit in this class and held offers from numerous schools of which North Carolina State and Florida State were the other top contenders.

ESPN has this evaluation of Moore:

Moore has good size and can flat out run, close and hit. His tools may project best in the short-area and he could get recruited to play either middle or strong side 'backer. Has coveted versatility. Has adequate height with great thickness and bulk. Compact frame may have limited physical upside but already has the bulk and strength to make the jump to the next level. Does have longer arms for his height but we have yet to see him consistently uses them to shed. Flashes a good burst of speed for his size filling downhill. Mirrors well between the tackles with above average feet and smart reads. Shows good power and explosiveness at the point of attack but is most productive beating blockers to the hole. Good initial quicks coupled with his great size and relentless style makes him a disruptive blitzer. Makes a lot of plays inside out on the football. Takes very sharp, direct angles to the ball carrier when pursuing off-tackle. Demonstrates very good acceleration for his size chasing plays down to the sideline. Shows some wasted motion at times changing direction on his pursuit but masks it well with great recovery quickness and explosiveness in the short-area. Closes very hard in space generating very good velocity which leads to some impressive hits. Will surprise you with his fluidity, athleticism and awareness skills in coverage. Reads the quarterback well and sees underneath routes develop. Soundly anticipates the pass and breaks quickly on the throw. Plays fast between the white lines but we do question his sideline-to sideline range if employed on the outside; has better short-area speed and burst. Can overrun the play at times and struggle to recover sharply. Does not consistently wrap cleanly as a tackler. Needs to work on playing more under control and breaking down in space. Has some hip stiffness which could get exposed if employed on the outside. To play on the inside and remain productive we would like to see him improve his leverage and hand technique; can open up his whole body to the cutoff block. Overall, Moore has a good combination of size and range and the physical tools for a program to develop into a productive linebacker. Will most likely start off his career on the inside.

Some camp highlights from Rivals:

AMP: Kendall Moore camp highlights @ Rivals Video

Welcome to ND Kendall!!!

As you may have noticed, I've changed the way I am doing these "commitment profiles" lately. I am very excited about the individual commitments, but I have really become more interested on how the class is developing as a whole and how the roster breaks down. That is why with every one of these commitments , I include the eligibility chart and the State of Recruiting Map.

So Kendall's commitment is very interesting. Three years ago, a 4 star linebacker giving his pledge to Notre Dame would have fans going apeshit. Things are a little different now- expectations for incoming freshman are becoming diminished- depth is increasing not just in numbers alone, but in quality as well.

Take the Mike backer position for example, which Moore is likely to play in South Bend. In 2010, Notre Dame will have Carlo Calabrese and Anthony McDonald on the depth chart, as well as possibly Te'o (he might be preaching in Guam by then), or even Brian Smith could be back at Mike during his senior year. The quality of the depth at all the linebacker positions has gone up dramatically in the last 3 years. This is good- very good. This allows for players to develop and improve with time and true competition at practice. Tenuta is licking his chops as wee speak. His mouth is foaming, as he thinks of his linebackers hitting others in practice.

So back to Moore... more of the same- really. This is a quality defensive player that should have Irish fans going apeshit over, because he helps seal the future of this program. Every recruiting class has its role and this 2010 class is certainly defining itself as the recruiting cycle continues. It is becoming the "Depth and Develop" class. Now if we could only add a few more offensive lineman- but that is for another time...




View The State of Recruiting 2009 in a larger map

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