Recruit Update: Michael Moore

Stanford was the place Michael Moore dreamed of playing. The campus beauty, the Pac-10 affiliation, the education and the prestige that comes from being a Cardinal made the university a top priority and favorite school. But a funny thing happened on the way to "The Farm."

At 6'2" and 190 pounds, Michael Moore plays in southern California's Ivey League conference as an undersized defensive end, but he still managed to rack up 6 sacks, and that put him on top of the conference's sack list last year. As a junior, Moore joined 2005 BYU signee Brandon Howard as one of the league's top performers.

Heading into his senior year of high school football, Moore is expected to vastly improve his performance on a team that finished second to last behind Poly High School with a 2-7-1 record on the season. He was heavily courted by Stanford and already received a scholarship offer from Brigham Young University. At first, Stanford's Pac-10 affiliation and high academic reputation had Moore thinking the decision was easy. He would play for the Cardinal.

Before he made his final decision, he considered BYU. The offer from his church school and a coaching staff that saw his talents despite his current playing field disadvantages helped spark an interest in the Cougar program. That spark grew to inferno status following an unofficial visit to BYU where he had the chance to meet with Cougar coaches.

"Everything was really good," Moore remembered. "They [BYU coaches] were really helpful and I had a coach by my side all the time. It's just a good atmosphere and a good campus and everything just felt right."

Accompanied by his mother, Moore met with various BYU coaches. The same coaches that recognized his athleticism on tape spoke to his bishop and felt he would be a perfect fit in Coach Mendenhall's 3-3-5 defense.

What Moore saw and experienced while on his unofficial visit to BYU came as a surprise to him. Having grown up in Pac-10 country where the USC and UCLA football traditions divide the Inland Empire, an athlete whose goal is to play Division 1 college football may wonder if an outside university could match up with the local schools.

It is interesting how things can quickly change in a single step, and for this LDS athlete that is all it took.

"Yeah, Stanford was my top school," Moore said. "I went to Stanford's campus and it was a good feeling but it wasn't like the one I had at BYU. People always told me before that you will feel that campus is right the minute you step on it and that's what happened to me. That's what I felt when I got to BYU. It's just what I felt when I got there."

Moore was impressed by other things during his visit, particularly by a building that resembles an aircraft hanger that allows BYU's athletes to practice in privacy and comfort. His thoughts turned back to what he saw while visiting Stanford. To his surprise, here was something else that surpassed his Stanford experience.

"BYU's facilities were way better than Stanford's, I thought, because Stanford's was more of an old school style," Moore explained. "At BYU, they have that multi-million dollar indoor practice facility they just put in."

Moore was also impressed with the new student center built specifically for athletes. His first priority in college is to get a good education, which is why Stanford was so attractive to him. What he saw at BYU helped him believe he could meet his educational goals in Provo.

"BYU just has more tutors and staff to help you out," said Moore. "I just felt it was a lot better. I was kind of like, ‘Wow, check this out.' The whole time I was sitting there saying that."

Needless to say, Moore's eyes were opened and he came away from his visit to BYU with a whole new perspective about the school. Not long after his trip, Moore committed to play football for the Cougars. He cannot wait to get back to campus. "Actually, I'm going up there again towards the end of this month and then I'm taking an official trip towards the end of the year," said Moore. "I'm going up there because I have some family members there and I want to take another trip to BYU."

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