Gators a close second for DE Michael Moore?


UPDATE, June 10: Michael Moore committed to Virginia on Friday.

Michael Moore knows what people say about the chances he ends up playing football at Virginia.

After all, both of his parents attended UVa. His father, Shawn, was the Cavaliers’ star quarterback from 1988-90 and is now a Cavs assistant coach.

“He’s a wide receivers coach,” Michael Moore said, “so if I did go there I wouldn’t really see him that much because he’s on the offensive side of the ball. But with him being there I’ve known Virginia so long as a child and I’ve been there a lot of times. So I have a good relationship with them, too. But I’m still looking at other schools, too.”

Michael Moore’s flirtation with other schools led him to visit Florida for a second time, a trip he wrapped up on Saturday with a second tour of campus and a sit-down with his father and UF head coach Will Muschamp.

“The visit went real well,” Michael said just before leaving Gainesville. “I had a real good time. I got to spend about 15 minutes just talking to (Muschamp), seeing how I fit into the defense, how I can fit in to their style of play, and seeing how I can be part of the Florida Gators.”

Saturday was a busy day for Muschamp, who led his coaching staff in working with about 500 participants  at Florida’s annual women’s clinic at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

The Gators are a serious option for Moore, a 6-foot-4, 255-pound athlete from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Md., who has the frame to play defensive end in a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment. Moore is rated a four-star prospect by Rivals and 247Sports. Getting his verbal at a position of need would be big for the Gators. But for Virginia, Moore is not just a legacy, he is a major recruiting priority.

“I’m still trying to figure out what I’m going to do right now,” Michael said. “I’m going to wait, but I know I’m going to get it done before the season. I want to get my top teams together soon, but I know Florida and Virginia will definitely be in it.”

Despite about 30 scholarship offers, Moore seems to have locked in on the two schools.

“I really like (Virginia head coach Mike) London, he’s a real guy,” he said. “He’s in touch with his spirituality. I talk to him very easily.

“With Florida there is great tradition in the SEC. You know you’re going to play a great team every week. The SEC also helps players get to the NFL, which is a big thing. And also with Florida and Virginia, they both have great academics there.”

Make no mistake, the UF coaching staff has worked hard to be a factor in Moore’s decision. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and defensive line coach Bryant Young have led the way in Moore’s recruitment.

“They came to my school. I’ve seen them throughout the spring,” he said. “I’ve been (to UF) during my spring break. So I have seen the campus and I have seen them all before. So this is probably about the third or fourth time I’ve seen them.

“They see me as someone who can make a lot of plays. I like the 3-4. I like the 4-3. They’re doing a lot of both. They’re doing a lot of pro-style things, so I like how that prepares you to get to the NFL.”

It’s a tough decision indeed. So when Mike needs advice, he can always turn to his father.

“He knows all the process,” he said, “so I can sit down and ask him any question as a father any time.”

The connection with Virginia looms large. When Moore discussed his visit to Florida, the subject drifted from Florida’s campus to UVa’s.

“I saw the (UF) campus before, I got to see it again,” he said. “I know the campus is a very beautiful place to be. Both places are very beautiful. So really pretty much, it’s just going to come down to that gut feeling.”


  1. This would be a major coup if he chooses UF. UVA is a great school but doesn’t have football pedigree we do. We’re definitely swimming upstream with the legacy and his dad being a coach there.

    Good luck with your decision Michael whichever direction you choose.

  2. The unspoken thing here is, clearly, if both parents went to UVa, they’re a cut above the crowd intellectually, and probably passed along some serious gray matter to their son. Had he been a third generation legacy, I’d say he’d definitely be a lock for UVa. But, if there’s no connection other than his parents, and if they’re as bright as one would expect, they may not press him to go to UVa. That said, I think the chances of him coming to UF are slim and none….Bottom line, it’ll be his loss.

  3. People put too much in to this legacy crap! If it were me, I would want to blaze my own trail! The young man owes nothing to UV – his Dad paid his debt to the school. There’s things that I could be selfish about, like being proud if my boys following my path through Special Forces, in the Army and graduating from college; however, I want them to make their own history, one they can be proud of, without some people saying that they got it because of their Dad! I guess I’m a little more independent than most! Best wishes to you Mike!!!

  4. OH WOW! We are the #2 school on the the list of the #176 rated player in the nation. Have we really fallen this far? This is pathetic for Gator Nation to get excited about this. Embarrassing. Articles like this make me really miss Urban Meyer. FSU already has commits from the #1 DE in the nation, and the #1 DE in the state, and we excited about this?
    Jeff, my mother used to say, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all”. Please don’t write another article like this.

  5. @ John C. —
    Good point. Well said. I concur.
    Hopefully M.M. will be exposed to such advice.
    PS: He, et al, should also consider Florida’s sexy and SAFE(!) meteorology.

  6. Isnt that what this article was? It seems like a sunshine and lollipop story because it seems to put a positive spin on UF probably not landing a not very highly rated player. I kind of agree with the previous writer that this really shouldnt be excited or happy about. Finishing second for a players is just as valuable as finishing last. I think a better story would be how Florida just isnt getting their first choices on recruits the last couple years. We only signed 17 players and only 2 or 3 of those were players Florida highly coveted. Again this year they have only gotten about 2 of the top targets. I know its early and a good season may generate momentum heading to signing day, but what would a mediocre or bad season do? Florida could be looking a a growing talent gap like the one Meyer complained about in 07. Florida is a couple of injuries away from disaster.

    • First of all, Mike Moore is one of the best defensive end prospects in the nation. He’s also capable of playing end in a 3-4 formation. The Gators REALLY want him. But I wrote this blog in such a way as to make clear where I think he ends up. Some Gator fans may not like that.
      Second, Florida is in great shape to finish with a terrific haul of defensive linemen and hybrid DE/LBs. These players could easily be the backbone of the class. But there will be battles and UF won’t win them all. I still think fans will be happy on NSD.
      Third, I wouldn’t worry so much about the season. Florida has a very difficult schedule and a team in transition, but there’s still plenty of talent to make it interesting and stay very relevant. When it comes to recruiting, the good seasons attract some prospects, while the not-so-good seasons make a lot of other prospects think they have a better chance to see the field early in their careers. It’s pretty much a wash.
      Stay cool and be patient, Gator Nation. There’s a loooong way to go yet.

  7. Please? This kid only used UF to generate a little drama to his upcoming UVA committ! Otherwise, the 176th prospect committing to play for his dad at UVA, would have barely been covered nationally, if at all!

    And UF, and all the writers that cover UF fell for it! You guys gave this kid exactly what he wanted, and now we look bad for coming 2nd place AGAIN, this time to UVA of all places!

    Atleast with Noor Davis, it was a REAL battle with a REAL story!

  8. Saying a guy is No. 176 says exactly what? Does it mean anything other than that he’s considered by recruitniks to be among the best in the country? What’s far more important is what do the coaches think? They know what assets and skills they are looking for and they are the ones who have to project how a guy is going to fit into what they are trying to do. Keep up the good work Jeff. Most of us want information – good or bad.

  9. Jeff, thanks for reporting on what is actually happening. If our coaches are interested in a player (whatever he is ranked) I want to know about it and you are the person I turn to to find out. If people dont like what you have to report then maybe they just write their own fantasy blog so they can only hear what they want to hear. However, with that said, I also like to read all the responses even if i dont agree with them. Keep up the good work and thanks for keeping us informed!

  10. This was a great article Jeff. Nobody wants false hope so If they have a problem, well it doesnt matter because they dont write the articles anyhow haha. JD and LT are the same person. We are looking at a real great haul guys get over it. Most of these “highly-rated” players have us in their top 5s and final cuts. That seems to be a big positive. Gator Nation will be happy on NSD.

  11. Ratings mean about as much as grocery store tabloids, you have bloggers and hacks that have never played a sport rating these kids out of high school. Further, they have never seen them play a real game in person only highlight film, and drill work at a Nike/Under Armour combine. All this rating crap is for you couch potatoes to waste your money buying magazines and on line subscriptions. I need to start an on line for pay recruiting blog, probably get rich.