Spread vs. West Coast a difference for preps?

It's a decision many don't think about, but it's becoming more and more common these days: Spread or not to spread? The spread offense permeates prep offenses around the country, and has grown dramatically in college. But with its absence in the NFL, when thinking about the future, what's a high school spread QB to do, especially when a non-spread team like Nebraska offers?

Clayton Moore's decision process has been easy to a degree, when thinking about his future at the collegiate level. No, the actual decision is tough, as you would expect, but at least when it comes to the kind of offenses, Moore didn't have a lot to figure out.

Indiana offered – they run the spread New Mexico State offered – they run the spread Southern Miss offered – they will start running the spread this year

Easy, right?

Then along comes Nebraska . Sure, like most offenses you see, they can run out of the gun when they want, but this is the "West Coast", where a QB generally starts out from under center, which is a place most spread QBs haven't been their entire career.

We wouldn't think so much of that, because it's just football. I mean, passing is passing, reading defenses is what it is and you still have to complete passes at a high level. But when you see all these quarterbacks like Colt Brennan and just about every quarterback at Texas Tech since Mike Leach took over the reins in Lubbock , what you don't see are these guys in the pros. And if you do, they are holding clipboards and not playing.

Why? Why can't spread system quarterbacks make the transition when it seems like throwing the ball is almost second nature? Their completion percentages are ridiculous. The amount of touchdowns to interceptions is generally insane, and like Brennan, many just know how to win.

Moore says that these aren't thoughts that cross is mind too much, because he's trying not to look beyond college, where he's yet to even play. But you do, and he has and point of fact, he said he talked about this issue with his dad just a couple of nights ago, following a recent visit to Southern Miss. "Me and my dad were talking about that and you look at coach Fedora's offense down at Southern Miss, it's all shotgun, throw it all over and that's how they move the ball, but it's not an offense you are going to see in the NFL," Moore said. "Then you have Nebraska, who is the only team to offer me that doesn't run the spread, they have an offense which you see in the NFL a lot, and if that's what you are thinking about, it'd be perfect, you'd say, because it would prepare you a lot more than these other teams would which don't run a pro-style offense."

The thing about this process is, however, is reality. The reality when it comes to the percentage of kids who actually do make it to the NFL. The reality of making an NFL decision even before you get to college. Call it putting the cart before the horse, if you will, which Moore says is tempting, simply because of the allure of the professional league, but he's not there quite yet. "Everyone wants to make it to the NFL, but college is about getting an education first, because you don't know how football is going to go," he said. "And you can't go thinking about the NFL too much, because you don't know if you will make it there at all.

"And I like to think that if you are good, it won't matter the system or where you are at – teams will find you anyway."

Teams have found him, that's obvious, Moore looking at four offers in writing now, which could turn into five as early as this week, as Clayton said Tulsa could be getting close. But then you throw into the mix another factor and that's another sport entirely.

Baseball

Like many kids who have legit Division 1-A aspirations, they don't play just one sport. It's many, and for Moore , he seems to be almost as accomplished on the base pads as he is the gridiron. Through approximately 11 games this season, Moore reported a better than .400 batting average with one home run. Not bad, especially when you consider this shotgun QB is also a starting shortstop, which, next to centerfield or perhaps even more, depending on who you talk to, the most athletically demanding position on the diamond.

That's not bad versatility, which is why Moore doesn't think too much about what offense he doesn't run as much as he feels that given time, there isn't an offense he can't. "I mean, we practice a lot working out of center, so it's not like I don't know how to do a drop," Clayton said of the idea that many quarterbacks don't know how to read the field or even play out of a three, five or seven-step drop versus starting five or more yards off the line every snap of the game. "I've got good feet and I'm not just falling all over back there. But it's obviously something I haven't played in a lot."

Moore said that some schools have voiced interest in offering him both a baseball and a football scholarship, just to see if that made it too good of an offer to refuse. As to whether it worked or not, Moore said that baseball is simply a consideration. Football is what he enjoys, baseball is something he's good at, but as to whether or not he'll play both in the future, he said that would be up to the team. "Yeah, it's up to the coach, but it's also a matter of you have a really different throwing motion in baseball versus football, and for a quarterback, that's something that you have to work out every time you go from one sport to the other," he said. "I wouldn't mind just sticking with one sport and just really focusing in on my game."

And when it comes to the offense, again, Moore isn't thinking like a potential future NFL player, even though he would like to consider himself one. He is thinking like a young man who is thinking about the next four to five years of his life at one place. "Honestly, it doesn't matter, because I am looking for a depth chart that fits me and a place where I think it feels like I get along with the coaches well, I get along with the team well and it's going to be a good place to get an education," he said. "The football part plays into it, obviously, but I'm there to get an education, too."

Moore said that while he visited Southern Miss this last week, because of a baseball tournament early this week, no immediate plans have been made in regard to camps, unofficial visits, etc.

Moore hit for 44 touchdowns last year, throwing for over 3,000 yards and the 6-2, 205 lbs. QB added an impressive 850 yards on the ground as well.


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