TE/WR Evan Moore is Heating Up

Evan Moore from Brea, California has somewhat of an ironic story. His lifelong passion has been basketball, while he just started playing football a few years ago. Yet his heaviest recruiting attention has come for football, with many staffs leaving his hoops on the side. This dichotomy also helps to set the context for how schools are succeeding in recruiting the young man, with Stanford taking the lead.

TE/WR Evan Moore (profile)
Brea-Olinda (Brea, CA)
Ht: 6-7: Wt: 230
no Nike numbers

Though Evan Moore has been a much bigger football recruiting story this year than basketball, the month of July is a big time for hoops, and Evan looks like he is starting to make a mark on the hardwood.  The event that has caught my attention was the Double Pump West Coast Camp, where Evan reportedly scored an average of better than 20 points per game.  He was selected to the highest all-star game at the camp (they have several), and in that game, he went toe to toe with Maurice Shaw.  I have checked out Shaw because of a very bad rumor that he was of Stanford interest, and the kid is a very big and well developed specimen.  Brings the phrase "man-child" to mind.  The two forwards matched up in the game, and Evan solidly outplayed him on both ends.

When I asked Moore about the encounter, he was excited to talk about it.  As a general backdrop, Evan notes that he particularly relishes playing against the "reputation guys" he hears about.  His goal in camps like this is to show what he can do against those guys.  Even though Evan gives up a couple inches to Maurice in height, Evan was able to take him in the low post.  Showing off his improved ball-handling and dribble penetration, he also took him to the hole.  He scored 18 points in the affair, while Shaw struggled.

Evan has played with the Double Pump All-Stars this spring and summer, and I've seen him several times.  I will be anxious, though, to see him this week in Vegas at the Big Time... to judge for myself if he's turned a corner in July with his game.

The subject of basketball is not one of just passing interest for this two-sport athlete, and though his bread is likely to be buttered with a football scholarship in school, this is a kid with a serious and longstanding hoops interest.

"I've always wanted to play college basketball since I was young.  Football just came along the last couple of years."

You see, Evan just started playing football his freshman year in high school, so he is one of the more raw recruits out there with a lot of upside.  The buzz is that Evan could be a very special player at his size, not unlike a Teyo Johnson or a Tony Gonzales.  He has a body that could grow into that of a pro tight end, with the hands, moves and agility of a receiver.  And even though he was hurt for a chunk of his junior season, that upside potential is enough that Stanford and USC have both offered full rides for football.

Then it shouldn't be surprising to you that those two schools are his leaders today.  But Evan goes further to say that Stanford is his current leader.

"Stanford is very attractive to me right now.  The coaches really care about you.  I feel more secure with them, and they seem more sincere in dealing with me.  I've always had an interest in Stanford because of how strong their academics and athletics are.  They have always been one of my favorite basketball teams."

I followed up to ascertain just what about Stanford basketball has been so appealing to him, and he struggled to really put his finger on it, other than to say they "are always fun to watch."

Those earlier comments about the Stanford coaches apply as much to basketball as football, and Evan is careful to distinguish that the Cardinal staff has stood out with their basketball recruiting on top of football.  Other schools have given second-hand or token basketball interest in his eyes, which he feels is less than sincere.  Evan saw Stanford assistant coach Eric Reveno at three of his games at the Double Pump camp, and head coach Mike Montgomery has talked with Evan's AAU coach.  The feeling is that Stanford is very genuine in their hoops recruiting, as if he is a stand-alone basketball prospect of interest to them.  In contrast, Evan sees this is a failing of USC's.

"They will have a basketball coach call me, but I wonder if that is just a tool to get me there."

If you get down to a football-only conversation, then Evan warms up in talking about USC.

"It is kind of contradictory to say, but I do like USC.  I really like the football staff.  There is some basketball interest there, but just not as much as Stanford."

UCLA is Evan's third school behind these two leaders, and he said he is about to call them to talk things over.  To date, they have not made an offer, which is a plausible reason they trail Stanford and USC.  I asked Evan how far the Bruins would jump if they did offer, and he said the would become "about equal with USC, behind Stanford."

Arizona State and Notre Dame are two more schools that trail these three, with varying levels of interest.  ASU is starting to get more serious with their interest, but I did not get any indication from him that they can challenge the three California schools.  Notre Dame has sent him "a lot of handwritten stuff," but he does not feel they are as serious about him as his top three schools.  The name is intriguing to him, but Evan is putting a lot of stock in the sincerity and duration of interest he is receiving from schools.

The recent report on Evan from Greg Biggins had Evan looking to make a decision soon, which is the mindset he had carried since the spring.  Now, Evan is thinking that he would like to take more time so that he can get a few official visits in.  USC and UCLA are close to home, but he is particularly interested in a Stanford visit.  The big reason there is that Evan has never been to a Stanford football game, and he would like to get a feel for the gameday atmosphere on the Farm - with the Stadium, students and with the team in the locker room.  At this time, Evan is looking at early visits in September or October.

You normally hear a recruit talk about the bigger picture questions about a school for a visit, but Evan feels he checked most of that out already when he came to Stanford for the Junior Day in May.  He got to meet the entire football staff, talked with guys on the team, saw the campus and took a look at the Stadium.

"My family absolutely loved the campus.  When I saw the stadium, I was surprised - I had no idea it was that big.  It was really nice."

As for the scholastic side of things?

"I already knew their academics are awesome."

With two schools familiar and close to home, plus another that he has visited unofficially, Evan has a lot of information about his options already.  His final decision will be about how comfortable he is at the respective schools, but he is careful about how he will make that decision.

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