Linebacker coach, Rion Rhoades has certainly seen his share of good players. Approaching double-digit years in the coaching ranks, he's seen All-conference and All-Americans aplenty. It's not to say that linebacker, Dontrell Moore is the best he's ever seen, but he compares Dontrell to someone that might have been close.
"He reminds of of Terrell Farley." Rhoades said of Moore. "You know Farley was in the "Jayhawk" league and Moore reminds me a lot of him.
The Jayhawk league is the division within the KJCCC or Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. And, that league has been home to more superstars than we can possibly list here. Mike Rozier and Terrell Farley are the Nebraska contingent that achieved fame in the recent and not so recent past. And, Wali Muhammad and Donald DeFrand came from that league as well.
It's the hotbed for junior college studs.
Back to Moore, though, the comparisons to Farley don't come lightly even though he knows he's talking to a Nebraska reporter. Nope, he says that in a lot of ways, these two are cut from the same mold. "Dontrell just moves to the ball so well." Rhoades said. "Once he sees it, he closes and in a hurry."
Rhoades said that Moore is currently running a sub-4.4 and that's while being 6'2" and weighing 225lbs. "He looks skinny carrying that weight though." Rhoades said. "I'd say that he could easily get up to two forty and he'd still be fast as heck."
Fast enough that Moore was able to lead his team in sacks this season, tallying 7.5 for a total loss of 65 yards. He was almost amongst the team-leaders in forced fumbles and tackles for loss.
What Rhoades says again of Moore, however, is that while Farley had a nose for the ball, this kid has the wheels to catch up to any ball on the field. "You need someone with closing speed, this kid's got it." He said. "Once he recognizes the play, he's off to the races and I don't see him lose many of those."
There's another comparison that is rather appropriate to the former Husker as well and that's in overall versatility. As Husker fans might recall, one of the great assets Farley had was that you could put him just about anywhere on the field. At safety, he was great. At linebacker, he was great. Basically just stick him somewhere and he'll be, well…………great.
Ditto for Dontrell as that is another trait of the junior college star that he says has made him one of the more attractive recruiting targets around. "I'm not sure about safety, because I don't know if he has the hips, but you can stick him at any of the linebacker positions right now. He's physical enough to play inside, has more than enough speed to play the outside and he's great at getting off his blocks."
"He really does it all."
And, he'll be doing it for the Cornhuskers come January when Moore is scheduled to enroll and considering the references to the former Husker, you'd think that Rhoades himself assumes this to be a pretty solid match. "Nebraska usually has some pretty solid guys no matter where you look on the field." Rhoades said. "But, sometimes even the big schools are lacking that pure burner at outside linebacker. Now, they might have that there right now, I don't know, but once Dontrell gets there, they'll have at least one for sure."
Early impressions based on Moore's 225 lbs. Is that you'll see him play the outside position if Stewart Bradley is moved into the middle. If not, Moore could take the vacated position left open for the departing senior, Chad Sievers.
Wherever he plays, Rhoades is confident in what Husker fans will see. "What they will see is a guy that just makes plays. You give him the room and let him make it happen and he'll make something happen. There are players like him around right now, but everyone of them will be playing at a big-time school."
"He's just that kind of player."
Again, Moore will enroll at Nebraska in January and as his coach said, he's on schedule to do just that. Also, Moore will have 3 years to play 2.