It feels like Chad Morris hasn’t gone a day without saying the phrase, “we’re sitting on a gold mine,” referring to the abundance of talented high school players in the DFW area. He and the staff have relentlessly and successfully attacked the area, but this week Morris dipped into the southeast, an area he heavily recruited for Clemson, and offered 2016 Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton DB Josh Moran. Moran is a teammate and good friend of SMU quarterback commit David Moore.
Even though Moore committed to SMU a couple weeks ago and has been telling Moran about it, the offer surprised Moran when he got it on Tuesday.
“It was out of nowhere, so I was super excited,” Moran said. “The coach (SMU offensive coordinator Joe Craddock) had DMed me literally a day before and said we loved your film, the whole staff saw it, and we’ll be at practice tomorrow.”
Craddock stopped by to briefly chat with Moran during the school day, but Moran called Craddock later that day and he offered him and gave him his pitch.
“First, he said he sees me as a true football player, one who can play really on both sides of the ball, and he’d probably want me at safety,” Moran said. “He knows that I’m good friends with David, and he knows we’d love to play together for four more years. He was saying how the program is up and on the rise with coach Morris at the head.”
The SMU coaches haven’t been the only one selling Moran on SMU. Moore and Moran will visit in June when school ends, and Moran already has a good idea of what he will see.
“He says the campus will blow my mind,” Moran said. “He says the coaching staff is energetic and young, he loves them all. He likes the players, the feel of the campus, how he’ll be walking around and fans will come up to him and be like, ‘Hey can I get an autograph?’ All that has made him fall in love with it.”
Moran said the chance to play with Moore gives SMU a bonus and will factor into his decision. While Moore gave him reasons to be excited for the visit, Moran will still take a practical approach to it.
“First, if I connect with the coaches, then if I like the atmosphere of the school, and I’d like to learn a little about [SMU’s] academics,” Moran said.
Moran grew fond of SMU quickly, but the Mustangs are one of a handful of teams to get involved recently. South Florida, Georgia State, Western Kentucky, Appalachian State and Furman have offered in the last four days. Indiana and Kansas State are showing significant interest, and he thinks they could offer shortly. Jacksonville State and Arkansas State, his first offer, round out Moran’s offer list. He said Arkansas State coaches contact him nearly every day and visited his school twice during the spring evaluation period.
Most schools have offered the 6-foot-2, 202-pound Moran as a hybrid linebacker/safety. He plays safety, receiver and occasionally lines up in the backfield for Milton. No matter where he plays, he wins with speed.
“For me it’s speed. Speed, physicality, I really just want to pound you. I didn’t move to defense until two years ago, and the speed helps tremendously,” Moran said.
Moran wants to commit before his football season so he can focus only on his high school and college team. He and his dad took a trip to see some Ivy League schools and North Carolina in the spring, but he didn’t visit anywhere for a junior day or spring game. But he is planning a jam-packed summer visit schedule that will include most of the schools interested in him.
“The summer will be busy,” Moran said. “I think I’ll be heading to a good amount of schools this summer.”