Nearing the End for Evan Moore

It has been a big week for the Stanford recruitment of football and basketball recruit Evan Moore. He had a visit from a Stanford coach on Tuesday, and then a call from another coach on Wednesday. The end result helps to put him ever closer to his final decision...

Since I last reported on TE/WR/forward Evan Moore, quite a bit has happened.  He took an unofficial visit up to Stanford to meet with the coaches (primarily basketball), had a visit from Mike Montgomery, and got a big phone call from Buddy Teevens.

The call from Teevens this week ironically came just one day after Monty's visit, and it was to inform Moore that he had been admitted to Stanford.  That news apparently came from Stanford's admissions office right after the visit, which seems puzzling at first.  Admissions does try to get timely decisions done, and in an instance like this they would in most cases have gotten a decision ready before Coach Montgomery's visit, so that he could be armed with the important information.  But the final admissions process for Evan Moore was not a typical one, as he explained to me.

Most of Moore's application looked favorable to Stanford, but his fall semester schedule was of apparent concern.  He was set to take literature, AP government, AP calculus, photography and a teaching assistant period.  Photography satisfies the fine arts requirement at Brea-Olinda, but is a non-core course in Stanford's eyes.  So Evan tells me that he got feedback from Stanford Admissions that they want four core courses for his senior year, and they only saw three on his schedule.  Moore made the switch from his teaching assistant period to AP statistics, and the admissions office pretty quickly turned around to give him the thumbs up for his admission to Stanford University.  The back-and-forth was surprising at first for Moore, but he says he "quickly got over it" and received the news from Teevens with great jubilation, and sees a silver lining to this past week's process.

"My brother tells me that taking stats in high school is easier than anywhere in college," offers up Moore, "so this is really a good thing for me anyway.  If I can get that credit from the AP test, then I'll have a better head start on my economics degree.  I am so excited to be admitted to Stanford.  It really means something to earn this, versus all the other schools were you just need some 2.0 GPA to meet minimum standards."

This acceptance places one of the very last pieces in the puzzle for Evan Moore's heated recruitment.  Now that he knows he can attend Stanford, he can look at the Cardinal alongside USC and UCLA without any uncertainty.  And when he takes that look, he sees today what I last reported in August - that Stanford is still a solid leader ahead of SC, with UCLA pulling up a distant third.  All three have offered.

When talking about what separates the three, Moore mentions quickly the advantages that Stanford offers for its academics and campus, but to him this race has been most about how the schools have recruited him.  Now, that might sound like a statement of a self-serving attention-hungry starlet, but I tell you that is not at all the case.  Evan Moore is a very grounded and well-mannered young man.  The reason he watches so closely the who, how and what from these coaching staff is squarely tied to his two-sport plans.  His desire is white-hot to play basketball along with football at school, which is not an easy task.  Moreover, it is not a given that a football staff will want to let him go spend time away from the field playing some hoops... or for that matter that a hoops staff will want him enough for basketball that he will get a fair shake.  These are the glasses through which he looks at these schools, trying to size up their honest intentions toward him.

"Some schools may not be sincere when they talk to me about both sports," says Moore, "but Stanford is really willing to make it work for me.  When I went up there for my unofficial visit, Coach Russell Turner said to me - not that this would happen - that I could play just basketball for them if I wanted to.  Now I know that I will be playing football at college, but Stanford basketball has continually told me that they want me for basketball, not for the football staff.  The very first thing they told me when I walked into Coach Montgomery's office was that they think I can play, and they really want me to play for them."

Also during that visit, Teyo Johnson walked into the basketball office and had a few words with Moore.  "I asked Teyo how difficult it is to play both," Evan recounts, "and he laughed.  He told me that everyone says it is so hard, but it's not that hard."

Moore also cites the heavy personal involvement he has seen from both Mike Montgomery and Buddy Teevens, which to him is a strong indication of what he means to each sport at Stanford.  In contrast, he says that he heard from the USC head coaches really only in the beginning, and with decreasing frequency over time.  UCLA has apparently really mucked up their efforts, as Evan says that he sees zero evidence for any communication between UCLA football and basketball.  The basketball staff apparently first became aware of him when they saw him by chance in July, and did not even know that their own football staff was working hard on him.  That kind of communication is a death knell for a kid who wants to go to a place where the two staffs will work tightly hand-in-hand to make both sports work for him.

Mike Montgomery was down in Brea, California this week to visit Evan, though both parties agreed to do it at his high school rather than in-home.  Monty felt like they all knew each other so well by then that an in-home visit (which puts stresses and demands on the host family that many people may not realize) was unnecessary.  So the Stanford basketball coach met with Evan, his parents and his basketball coach for about 45 minutes after his last class of the day, during his break before football practice.  Then he darted off to practice, while the other four adults chatted for another 20 minutes.  Moore says there was not much groundbreaking to discuss at that time, with their other meetings previously already covering most of the ground.  "It was just talk, for people to continue to get to know each other," says the two-sport senior.  One statement that does stand-out in Evan's mind, though, was when Montgomery called Stanford "the best place on Earth to go to school."

Moore has already attended home football games for both USC and UCLA this season, and in fact will be on the field at the Rose Bowl tomorrow for the game against Colorado.  But he has never seen a game at Stanford Stadium, and that is the last single piece of data he needs to complete his information gathering.  "I can't see myself choosing a school without seeing what is like there on a gameday," he says.  So Moore is heading up north to The Farm on October 11th and 12th for his official visit, which will include the Cardinal's next home game, against Washington State.  That is coincidentally also the first weekend of NCAA allowable practices for the basketball season, which is good timing for the aspiring two-sport athlete.

Moore says that the feeling on the LA Coliseum floor in August when he saw USC's season opener against Auburn was electric, and he also enjoyed the UCLA feel at the Rose Bowl against Colorado State, though he felt something bigger at the SC game.  This visit and this criteria begs one important question for Stanford: would a luke-warm gameday experience ruin the Cardinal's leading position?  Moore says no.  "One weekend shouldn't change everything else I've seen," he proclaims.  "I'm not 100% sure right now, but everything really fits well together at Stanford.

My read here is that Moore does not want to give a comm


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