It felt like it was a tease relationship between OKC John Marshall offensive tackle Tramonda Moore and Oklahoma. Moore, the No. 1-ranked prospect in the state for the 2016 class, had gotten bits and pieces of OU but never the whole thing.
That all changed dramatically last weekend when Moore was able to make it to Norman for his official visit. He went to OU during the summer for the camp and went to OU-TCU but said he had to leave early so he didn’t get a good grasp on things.
Moore has done recruiting a bit differently than a lot of recruits, having zero official visits entering the month of December. But he’s glad he waited, especially because of the way things went with the Sooners.
“Being down there this time around was amazing,” Moore said. “It was great to spend all that time with the coaching staff. It was a real good opportunity to just talk and get to know the coaches and players.”
It’s tough to say exactly who was Moore’s host as he brought up Jordan Evans, Orlando Brown, Alex Ross and Charles Walker as guys he hung around with. A big part of his recruitment has been the distance and whether or not he wants to stay close to home.
But that’s not what the OU players stressed to him even the homegrown products like Evans and Ross. Moore said there was no pressure from the coaches to commit and no pressure from the players. They were simply being upfront about everything and told him to find the best fit.
The best fit for Moore means playing early. He has all the tools to be able to do so and earned his invitation to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl for a reason. With OU’s depth chart, it could be a cause for concern.
A lot of those concerns, though, went away for Moore after spending time with Bob Stoops and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh.
“The dinner at Coach Stoops’ house,” said Moore about his favorite part of the visit. “I’ve seen his house before, but pulling up there, was an eye-opener. I’ve always liked and respected Coach Stoops. Watching him on one thing but know I have the opportunity to play for his team is another.”
The weekend was the first real time for Moore to get to know Stoops, but Bedenbaugh has been there since the start. Before all the offers came through, Bedenbaugh was making sure Moore knew all about the Sooners.
And with Bedenbaugh leading the offensive line, Moore admits it was tough to leave Norman and not be a Sooner.
“I have not committed to OU, but I was real close,” Moore said. “I was at a point where I felt this is home. I haven’t seen anything else like it.”
Moore visited with his mother and stepfather and said they both enjoyed the trip. His stepfather knows some of the players and his mother has always been an OU fan.
So what’s keeping Moore from already being a Sooner? Oklahoma State. Indeed, it’s a huge Bedlam battle coming up.
“The love I have for Stillwater,” Moore said. “The respect I have for the coaching staff. I really enjoy my time there.”
Moore has made more trips to Stillwater than anywhere else and his cousin, Tracy Moore, was a solid TE/WR for the Cowboys. His high school coach is OSU receiver legend Rahshaun Woods. He said he truly is in a house divided.
Moore is not sure when he’s going to announce, saying it could be signing day. He thought about announcing at the Army game but said that wouldn’t be fair because he wants to take his official visit to see OSU.
That visit has been planned for Jan. 15, the first weekend of visits in 2016. Tentatively planned are trips to Alabama (Jan. 22) and Miami (Jan. 29).
Moore admits it will be tough to overtake OU after such a great visit, saying OU took it to another level. Included in that was watching the Sooners prepare for the college football playoff against Clemson.
“It was real nice,” Moore said. “They practice with a lot of energy. Eric Striker likes to talk a lot of mess. They were having a good time, but they were serious, too. They’re all a family. They make themselves better. When they went full speed, it was heated, but they make each other better.”
Moore is ranked No. 147 in the Scout 300 and is the only Oklahoma high school prospect going to the U.S. Army Bowl.