After visiting South Carolina not much before he made his way to Florida and the Friday Night Lights camp in The Swamp in late July, Jeremiah Moon and his family liked everything about the program and as a group they decided Florida would be a great place to be for the next four years.
“I just thought it would be one of the better places for me to go and just with the overall visit I had there during the camp and what my family thought of it… I pulled the trigger,” Moon said this weekend.
“We got a tour of the entire campus. We talked to (Tony Meacham), the guy that helps us with our classes. He broke everything down for us. I know the academics are very important to my mom and she really liked that. We talked to Coach McElwain and Coach Collins. They just, made my parents feel better. My dad is always asking about who is going to mentoring my son and the father for my son for the next four years and he thought it was a good place.”
Florida has signed only one linebacker in the previous two recruiting classes combined. The chance to play early once he arrives certainly isn’t lost on Moon.
“I really think the opportunity is big there,” he said of the situation at Florida. “I talked to Coach (Drew) Hughes and Coach Collins and they told me about the situation and I think it’s a good fit.”
Despite the opportunity and need at linebacker, the Florida staff loves what they see in Moon. Defensive coordinator Geoff Collins believes Moon reminds him of his first team All-American at Mississippi State last year.
“Coach Collins always compares me to Benardrick McKinney,” Moon said. “I am a long guy that can play outside and in the middle. He said that McKinney arrived at 212 pounds and finished at 250. He sees me filling out like that. I am about 205 and 210 pounds right now.”
It was an all-encompassing thing that pushed him into his decision to commit to the Gators.
I just liked going to the state of Florida. I liked the scenery and it is a college town. All of that was different.
Moon’s commitment does come with a bit of an asterisk. He plans on visiting at least a couple of SEC schools before his recruitment is over in February.
“I need to get my mom down to Mississippi State and I am still taking my officials,” he said. “If I can take five I will. I know for sure I will be taking visits to Florida, South Carolina, and Mississippi State.”
When he picked Florida, the Gamecocks came in a close second and he was debating between the two programs.
“I loved everything about them,” he said of Steve Spurrier’s Gamecock program. “They had great facilities and were still doing so many renovations with their place. I built up a great relationship with the coaches. I talk a lot to Coach Bodkin and they are still recruiting me and I like that they keep in touch with me.”
Mississippi State was one of the first places he visited as a prospect. He likes the feel there too.
“Whenever I went down there they made me feel welcome,” he said. “I know a lot of the players are from the Birmingham area. We just had one go down there from Hoover. It’s family based. I talk to Coach Mullen and I just want to get down there.”
While he weighs all of the recruiting stuff, there is a season of high school football still left to play. At one of the more storied programs in the country, Moon thinks they are going to be alright.
“We had our camp last week and just finished up two-a-days,” he said. “Now we are getting into preparing for the first game.
“We definitely lost a lot of our key players from last year. We have several new starters on defense and several on offense. Since camp started we have built some team chemistry and have gotten better. I think it is pretty promising.”
As his body fills out, he feels like he can be a better player as well.
“I definitely say my tackling is better,” he said. “I can control my body more than I have in the past. I just started coming off the edge more, and am better at that than in the beginning.”
Moon is a quality player that looks to have as much upside as most in his class and one that will continue to be highly recruited among the Gators’ rivals.