Coach John Merritt emphasized the significance of a commitment to his star transfer. John Moten IV, who switched from Connecticut’s Fairfield Prep to Missouri’s John Burroughs High School in 2013, was fielding interest from Boston College, Nebraska, Illinois and Missouri.
Northwestern offered January 21. He took nearly three months to think things over and make the pledge official.
Then, Notre Dame extended an offer of its own the very next day, when Moten IV was on campus for a 7-on-7 scrimmage with John Burroughs.
“At first, I was thinking, that’s a great school. I don’t know what could happen,” Moten IV told PurpleWildcats.com.
Merritt was adamant about keeping other schools away from his running back once he had committed, but Moten IV notes that the program name did catch his attention.
Then Moten IV suited up for the scrimmage, which happened to field a familar face: fellow NU commit Tommy Vitale. The two hit it off immediately, and after meeting the rest of the Vitale family, the Fighting Irish were afterthoughts.
“That’s what flipped the switch,” he says. “I was automatically excited to go to Northwestern.”
Moten IV, a track and field standout with big play potential for the Wildcats, has not looked back since that April day. After traveling halfway across the country to switch high schools as a junior, Moten IV is serious about settling down, and he says that NU has already offered the communal aspect that he was looking for in a football program.
He’s active on the Class of 2015’s Facebook page, which was started by Joe Graziano and acts as a forum for the class. Recently, some were half-joking about their growing need for a quarterback. Moten IV also watches the promotional videos that the Wildcats’ Facebook account has released this summer.
“You can’t really figure out what the chemistry is going to be like until you get on the field, but they all seem like really good guys,” he said.
Moten IV was the third recruit to join the now-16 member class, and pledged early on during a hectic NU April that saw eight commitments in five days. He arrived when the class was still just forming, and feels just as confident about his decision now that the family has ballooned far past the one that initially flipped the switch.