Wanted: Big Receivers - Enter: D.L. Moore

When Nebraska had tall receivers like Wilson Thomas and Kenny Cheatam, it was considered quite a novelty – an option offense with receivers who seemed more at home in the SEC than they did with the then ground-pounding king of the Big Eight/Big 12. Times change and those receivers are now considered a must. It's not ironic then that the NU is going to SEC country to see if they grab some more.

When Kenny Cheatham was a member of the Huskers back in the late-90s, his 6-4 frame was considered a little odd. Out all of the wingbacks and split ends Nebraska had at the time, he was the only starter who was actually over six foot tall.   

After all, who needs someone that size when they are often more a liability as a blocker than they are an asset. And despite the fact that it was Nebraska which was the very first team which had a receiver go number one in the NFL Draft (Irving Fryar in 1984), receivers were considered little more than glorified blockers, who occasionally actually snagged a ball or two.   

Oh, how times have changed.  

Now the luxury has become the apparent necessity, a depth chart once almost completely void of that kind of size, now finding itself with a generous amount of it, and the desire to keep finding more.   

Enter: D.L. Moore  

Standing six foot, six inches tall and weighing just under 200 pounds, height is something Moore certainly has. And with a reported 38 inch vertical, the physical advantage almost turns into something a little unfair.   

Moore thinks to himself just how much of an advantage it could be, especially if he was in an offense which relied a lot more on the air-assaults rather than the ground game, which is something his prep team most certainly does. "We run the West Virginia offense," Moore said of his Bowling Green High School ( Bowling Green , Kentucky ) team, which runs the spread offense, but this spread is designed to run. "I do a lot more blocking than I do catching."  

Sound familiar?  

It would be hard to blame the head coach, though, as Moore said that his team has made it to the state finals two years in a row.   

But at his size, facing competition that can't come close to matching up, 28 receptions for 468 yards and three touchdowns simply won't do.   

His junior statistics aside, Moore looks for his last year to be a lot better. "I think we are still going to do what we do, because it's obviously working ok. But I think I'm going to be a little more involved as a receiver instead of just a blocker," he said.   

You the Husker fan will recall one of Nebraska 's most recent additions, a similarly lanky receiver from deep in the El Paso region of Texas . Like Moore , redshirt freshman Will Henry's offense was option-based, Henry's prodigious size and athleticism being used more as an outside front man for the running game than it was as a potent way to move the ball down the field. And like Henry, the recruiting for Moore took a bit of a back seat. Sure, the kid is big and it looks like he can run, but can he catch and how consistent is he at making plays?  

Well, if the season didn't help his recruiting, a recent performance at a camp at Purdue helped to ease the questions about just what this young man could do. Out of that experience came an offer from the Boilermakers and another quite out of the blue. "Coach Gilmore was at that camp, I guess, and I got an offer just this last week from that," Moore said of Nebraska 's wide receiver coach Ted Gilmore. "I know a little about Nebraska , but most of it has to do with that '95 team of theirs. That was like the best college football team..ever."  

That may have very well been one of the best college football teams of all time, but as much as Moore might admire that team, he's certainly glad that the current version does things offensively a different way. "Coach Gilmore was telling me about how they run the "West Coast" offense, and how they like to use their receivers," D.L. said. "I like that, because they get a lot of production through the air."  

You can figure that in as one of Moore 's criteria when it comes to choosing a school. And you can add location to that as well. Not so that he can stay close to home, but so that he can be closer to his second home, which is a considerable distance away. "My dad lives in California and I would like for him to be able to see my games," Moore said. "So, I guess the closer it is to there, that's something that I would like."  

While the offers aren't pouring in just yet, Moore said that amount of letters he's getting is immense. The entire SEC along with teams from the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac 10, are all sending him mail almost weekly. But Moore realizes that if his name is truly going to blow up, he's not going to be able to wait for teams. He's going to go out there and show them what he can do. "I am going to a lot of camps over the summer. I will probably go to one at Ole Miss, Tennessee , Alabama , Vanderbilt and Nebraska ," Moore said. "I might make some more, but transportation is kind of important and I have to figure that out."  

Regardless of what happens over the Summer, Moore said that he's going to plan on taking this recruiting game all the way to the end. He hasn't ruled out waiting until signing day if need be. That's all right with him, as he sees this off-season and his final prep-season, as a chance to fix certain aspects of his game. "I just need to work on my quickness, because I already have the size and speed," Moore said. "I also want to work on my ball-catching.

"Someone with hands the size of mine should never drop even one ball, because my goal is to catch every single ball this year, no matter how hard it is to bring in."  

Despite having multiple offers, Moore did admit to having a couple of early favorites. "It's Nebraska and Purdue right now," he said. "I liked what I saw at Purdue at the camp and I am hopefully going to get a chance to check out Nebraska before the season begins. But those are my favorites right now, and that's about it."  

Moore was named to the 2007 Tremendous 26 team, as voted on by the Kentucky High School Coaches' Association.


Big Red Report Top Stories