2009 Intro: Donte Moss

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. --- Donte Moss has SEC and ACC college recruiters flocking to Jacksonville for the first time in a few years.

"You get a lot of big guys [and] you get a lot of athletic guys, but he's a big guy that's athletic – everybody wants those," Jacksonville (N.C.) Northside head football coach Bob Eason said. "… He has the prototype body and athletic ability for rush end – defensive end/outside linebacker. He's kind of a commodity."

Moss, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound defensive end, has officially been offered by eight schools – Alabama, Clemson, Florida, East Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, NC State, and Virginia Tech.

"The floodgates have kind of opened," Eason said. "He's been offered by some SEC schools and some ACC schools, all the local schools. So everything has kind of opened up for him."

Moss, who said he is approaching his recruitment with an open mind, hopes to make a verbal commitment before the start of his senior football season. By the summer, he plans to have his choices narrowed down to five schools.

"First of all, I'd like to look at the location and the games they play," he said. "My mother can't really travel very much. I really want to be [on a team] with a schedule that would fit with her.

"Then I would like to look at the program and what position they would want me to play, and how they would work with me at that position. And then I would like to look at the background – the history and all that – and where we could go."

There is a perception is that Moss is an NC State-lean, due in large part to comments he made last spring. However, he says that is no longer the case.

"I'm more open-minded now, than I was last year," Moss said. "So I'm really open to State and Carolina equally now. It's not like State is higher than Carolina; it's more like State and Carolina are equal."

The greatest equalizer was UNC's Junior Day, which Moss attended with his mother approximately a week ago.

"It went great," Moss said. "They treated us good, they treated my mother good. It was a good atmosphere.

"The thing that really stands out about Carolina is that I have family there at the school and I know people that are on the team. That will really help me out, because they already been through what I'm about to go through. Whenever I get lost, I can go to them and they'll help me out. That's why Carolina is really standing out right now."

Moss grew up with Kendric Burney, UNC's starting cornerback. He also knows Deunta Williams, UNC's starting free safety, from various middle and high school sports.

According to Moss, he doesn't have any comparable connections at any other school.

Additionally, Moss and his mother maintain a strong communication line with John Blake, UNC's defensive line coach, and Charlie Williams, UNC's area recruiter.

"I talk to them all the time on a regular basis," Moss said. "They talk to me about the position they want me at. They talk about their history and what they can do for me. And they talk about the players they've trained before, who are doing well in their career now."

Moss plans to unofficially visit Maryland in March and Florida over the summer. He said he plans to also entertain a fairly hectic summer camping schedule with the only definite stop being UNC.

Although Moss will likely play the weakside defensive end position in a 4-3 scheme, Eason believes Moss is better fit for a less commonly used scheme.

"I know a few teams run 3-4 defenses on the college level, that's probably what he needs to play," Eason said. "He would fit as an outside linebacker [in the scheme] – a guy that can come up on the line-of-scrimmage and rush the quarterback, but also play a little [pass] coverage in the flats. Get his hand off the ground and on the ground."

In addition to defensive end, Moss is a member of Northside's kick return team, and plays tailback, where he ran in 14 touchdowns last season.

"We just use him kind of like a big guy that we like to move around on defense," Eason said. "And on offense [we use him as] a big guy that can run fast, break tackles, and score some touchdowns."

Moss started his prep career at Trenton (N.C.) Jones, but transferred after his freshman season to Northside when his mother moved.

Donte Moss Profile

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