It’s Day 52 (Day 48?) on our countdown to kick-off against North Dakota State, and with 52 days remaining we focus our gaze on #52 Michael Moore. (Moore, an outside linebacker from Dallas, TX, is not the man that makes bad documentaries. Please look elsewhere for the director of the misleading film Fahrenheit 911). Unnecessary commentary regarding political issues aside, let’s drill down to what Moore brings to the field:
Moore is a sophomore linebacker who mostly stood on the sidelines last year as Jarell Childs and Justin Tuggle dominated the OLB position. He’ll have the opportunity to step into playing time this year with their leadership missing, although likely in a supporting role. Standing at 6’1″ and 217 pounds he’s not overly large, but looks to bring solid speed to the position. A three-star recruit, Rivals rated him the #91 player in the state of Texas and 65th best OLB prospect in the nation. During high school he played at powerhouse Skyline High School and had 63 tackles with 23 tackles for loss to go along with eight sacks, 21 hurries, and a blocked field goal his senior year.
Moore had offers from Iowa State and Kentucky, among other programs , and originally committed to play for Minnesota. However, he later decommited and settled on Kansas State in January of 2011 three days after visiting campus (out of curiosity I went back to look at the historical weather data – Manhattan had a high of 57 on January 28, the day Moore visited campus. This was the warmest day of the month. I think the people over in Cardwell Hall had something to do with tricking Moore into believing that while Minnesota is a cold and baren wasteland, Manhattan is like Texas. The next winter must have been a brutal surprise).
The video below is a quick look at Moore’s highlights, and it quickly becomes obviously why the coaching staff was so high on him despite a small size to fill the linebacker position. Coming off the line, Moore is shown holding his own against offensive tackles, keeping assignment, and shedding his blocker. He also does a great job of getting his hands up to deflect passes:
Yesterday we looked at Blake Slaughter, another Texas linebacker expected to fill one of the starting outside linebacker spots. Moore will have a difficult time winning the other spot (Jonathan Truman’s, perhaps?), but should be ready to help contribute this year. I’d also look for him to be a menace on punt coverage. And after biding his time, look for Moore to take on a prominent role in 2014.
To work backwards in our countdown, you visit day 53 and find our preview of Slaughter here.