January 9, 2012

Pack in hard pursuit of impressive athlete

NC State has been pretty successful during the Tom O'Brien era at finding solid recruits late in the recruiting process. Last year, the team landed linebacker Michael Peek and T.Y. McGill after Jan. 1, but both worked their way onto the field as true freshmen this fall. Cornerback Tyrrell Burriss was another late find and redshirted, but was on the two-deep during his first season on campus.

One look at the highlight film of Lithonia (Ga.) Martin Luther King athlete Jordan Moore's proves that the staff may have unearthed another gem late in the process. The senior checks in at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds and is also one of the country's most sought-after recruits for track and field.

Moore, who is verbally committed to LSU for track at this time, has completely blown up over the past two months and nabbed football offers from TCU, Michigan State, Wake Forest, Auburn, UCF, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State, Illinois, Arkansas, Arkansas State, ECU and Ohio State.

"They all have come within the past two months," he said. "A few came in the past two weeks. It's awesome, it's just a blessing for coaches to look at me and see me in that light. I just thank God every day for the opportunity. I know whichever school I pick is going to be a great school.

"Most schools are recruiting me as a safety and a returner, but some of them like me at wide receiver. I'm just trying to decide which school will fit me best, which will allow me to touch the field early and display my abilities."

One of the reasons for Moore's late emergence on the gridiron recruiting trail was the fact that he started his career at McDonough (Ga.) Union Grove, which he admitted did not have a recruiting base like the one at his new school. MLK boasts several division I prospects, including NC State commit Jarnor Jones and defensive end target Kenderius Whitehead.

"We had an awesome year, I transferred in during the summer so it was my first year here but I already knew a lot of the guys," Moore explained. "Jarnor Jones and I have been playing together since about fourth grade until we went to different high schools, and a few of the other guys, too. I transferred over and we had a 12-1 season under Coach Carson, I couldn't have asked for anything better; it was just awesome.

"Jarnor and I have talked about playing together in college. We've talked about that for a long time, but he wants me to make the best decision for me; he doesn't want me to do it just because we could play together, he wants me to make sure it fits me as an athlete.

"It is a cool feeling that NC State is recruiting all three of us because we all have the same classes, we all support each other and we all have each others' backs. It's just a great feeling to know that, at the end of the day, if we all decided to do it, we could all be at the same place."

In another interesting tie to NC State commitments, Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter, which features verbal pledges Charlie Hegedus and Niles Clark, was actually the team that ended MLK's season in the third round of the Georgia state playoffs.

"It was a phenomenal season, everything was clicking, the hard work was there; we just didn't show up at the right time," Moore said of season's tough ending. "I would've rather taken a loss in the regular season than playoffs, but we still had an awesome season."

Although his future school's football program is an important factor in the recruiting process, Moore is also looking at the track and field programs for his potential suitors because he does plan to do both in college. He is the two-time defending 4A state champion in the 110-meter hurdles and recorded the country's current top time in the 55 hurdles (7.28 seconds) this December.

"Just as much as I love football, I love track so I just want to go to a school where both are in play," he said. "I am verbally committed to LSU right now for track and field, and they want to offer me for football, but they have been really busy. I have let them know that I do have a lot of football offers and football is my first love, but I do love track, also. I want the option to play football wherever I go and I have let them know that."

Moore said he has already taken official visits to LSU and Clemson, but he is in the process of figuring out a few more trips while he has the chance. Although nothing is finalized, NC State is definitely in the mix for a visit in the near future.

"I think I'm going to take my official visit on the 13th or 27th," he said. "I will decide which visits I'm going to take out of all the schools that are recruiting me soon. I'm taking an official to TCU on the 21st but the weekend of the 27th is open right now."

Defensive backs coach Mike Reed is handling Moore's recruitment for the Wolfpack and held an in-home visit with the impressive athlete last Thursday.

"Coach Reed is a phenomenal man, he's a great family man and he really cares about people from the bottom of his heart," Moore said. "I actually saw that in an in-home visit last week from him. He's a very genuine person so I really do like Coach Reed, he has my respect. The in-home went great, it lasted about an hour. Coach Reed's message was so powerful that after that hour, I know who Coach Reed is.

"I have talked to him about [doing track and football] and he said they would love it. Every college that has offered me in football has come on board and said, 'our track coach wants you on the track badly.' And I do know a bit about T.J. Graham [who earned All-American honors on the track last year], which helps because it lets me know the coaches aren't playing any games with me."

Although Reed is in charge of Moore's recruitment, there is no guarantee that he would end up at safety if he chooses NC State. He said that the Pack coaches are recruiting him as an athlete who could play at safety or receiver, although he admitted that he prefers to line up on defense.

The youngster claims no favorites at this point in the recruiting process.

"I like TCU, I like NC State and I like Auburn right now," he said. "I wouldn't call them favorites, those are just the schools that are contacting me a lot."

Jordan Moore highlights

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