In-state Standout Athlete Talks Missouri

Athlete T.J. Moe of Fort Zumwalt West was among several in-state juniors to receive early scholarship offers from Missouri. While he's being recruited by some schools at wide receiver and others at quarterback, MU offered him as a safety. Inside Mizzou caught up with the talented playmaker to see how much of an issue that will be, plus the latest on his recruitment and his thoughts on MU.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Moe has played offense almost exclusively in high school, between wide receiver and quarterback. Last year he rushed for 1,500 yards and 24 touchdowns and passed for another 2,300 yards and 17 scores. But his future at MU would almost surely be on the other side of the ball.

"I knew they had Blaine Dalton and Blaine Gabbert coming in, so they're pretty set at quarterback. Plus, I'm only about 6-feet, so I'm not the prototypical quarterback," he said. "But I like playing defense too."

Judging by his playing style – his biggest assets are his quickness and aggressiveness --and the impressive 3.87-second pro shuttle time he posted at the junior combine in San Antonio, a move to defensive back would seem to come naturally.

"That's what coach [Cornell] ford said," Moe said. "Everybody expects a quarterback to run out of bounds. I don't think I have ever run out of bounds in my high school career … I'm not going to run away from you [with blazing speed], but I can get my change of direction going and make some plays."

Through his recruitment of Gettis, Ford has gotten to know Moe well.

"He's a funny guy, really down to earth. He's straightforward and he lets you know what you'll need to do to come in and start," Moe said.

Moe was never much of a college football fan until the past four or five years, when he began focusing on Missouri and was drawn in by watching Brad Smith and Chase Daniel. This past season was especially enjoyable because his friend and former teammate, Carl Gettis, starred for MU as a true freshman. Moe made several trips to Columbia for games and got to hang out in the locker room afterwards.

"The whole team was just a great bunch of guys," he said. "The way they did things, the coaching staff was very professional. I guess they've been together for a long time, like 13 years, and no one has left, so they're like a family."

Moe also holds an offer from Kansas and varying levels of interest from Illinois, Ohio State, Louisville, Indiana and Colorado. Don't expect him to stray too far from home for college, though. "I'd like to stay around here, not too far, that's why I don't know about Colorado. It's like a 13, 14-hour car ride and my parents wouldn't be able to come see me play very often," he said. "It's definitely a factor."

Moe plans to take visits this spring and summer and make a commitment right around the beginning of two-a-days next fall. At this point it seems safe to say MU will be the team to beat for the promising in-state athlete…

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