Moten Reflects on Freshman All-ACC Season
The do-it-all redshirt freshman from Suitland, recently named first-team freshman All-ACC by The Sporting News, is looking increasingly like he'll be a cornerstone of the Terps' defense for years to come.
"I think I had a really good season," Said Moten, who has 45 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception. "They [the coaches] really like how I've been playing."
Moten's success has been especially impressive when you consider he hasn't stayed at one position for long, moving from one linebacker spot to another in addition to playing some defensive end. For a team in desperate need of pass rushers, Moten has the potential to become a star. Gwynn Park coach Danny Hayes has called him one of the smartest players he's has ever coached.
"Some people are born to be English teachers. I'm not saying that I was born to be a football player. But that's always how it comes out to be. I know football," Moten recently told the Washington Post.
"They've been trying me at a lot of different positions, but I'm a team guy. I've always been that way. It doesn't matter where they want me to go, that's where I'll go and perform the best I can," Moten, a 6-2, 220-pounder, told TSR.
Moten also strongly considered Illinois and Tennessee as a high school senior, when he was rated the No. 88 linebacker in the nation. But the allure of playing at home was too strong.
"This is home. There's nothing like playing at home in front of your friends and family," he said. "I always try to get more [tickets] than the amount that they give us."
Moten has put a good word in for Maryland with Gwynn Park star junior lineman Reynard Randolph and tried to help the coaching staff recruit Friendly High star Lamaar Thomas, a close friend of his who eventually chose Ohio State.
"I was trying to recruit Lamaar. I told him all of the good things about Maryland but I told him it was his decision. It's a great place to be. But I'm not the type of person to sugar-coat things," he said. "We're still cool. I told him no matter where he goes I'll still like him. I'll always cheer for him unless we're playing against each other, and then we'll be enemies," he said, laughing.
Moten's already-increasing role could become even bigger should star linebacker Erin Henderson leave for the NFL, which seems a distinct possibility.
"I room with Erin on the road and he hasn't said anything about going, so I don't know what he's going to do. If he leaves, he leaves," Moten said.
Moten said the highlight of his season was sacking BC quarterback Matt Ryan because it helped the Terps to a huge win and because one day, he'll be able to tell his children he sacked a Heisman candidate. He said the best player he's played against is Clemson offensive tackle Barry Richardson.
"He kind of dealt with me," said Moten, who plans to add 15 pounds to his frame in order to better deal with ACC linemen.
We also asked him who the player most likely to break out next year is.
"Da'Rel Scott," he said. "He's gonna show the nation how fast he is and how good he is," he said. "With him and Morgan Green, I think we will" be just as strong at running back, despite the loss of Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore.
This season has been a disappointment, Moten said, because of how much talent the Terps have.
"I think we would have been good but we were hit with a lot of injuries," he said. "Next year we're going to be one of the top teams that people sleep on … We're going to be in the mix for some championships."
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