Championship Caliber

After his team finished 2-8 his freshman season, Mississippi prep quarterback Clayton Moore knew his team could turn it around. Over the next two years, Moore's hard work earned a state championship ring and multiple scholarship offers, including one from Wisconsin.

Clayton Moore knows the definition of hard work.

After his Louisville H.S. football team (Louisville, MS) went 2-8 his freshman year, Moore and his teammates worked tirelessly in the off season to turn the program around. They were somewhat successful; finishing 8-4 and getting to the second round of the division three playoffs but Moore knew that his team had yet to peak.

"We returned a lot of guys and we knew we had a chance to win it," Moore told Badger Nation Tuesday. "We didn't know if we were going to win it or not but we felt confident with the way things were heading."

As it turns out, Moore's prophecy was spot on, as he led his team to the 3A Mississippi State title as the school's junior signal caller.

"It was definitely special," the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Moore said. "It was a lot of hard work that went into the season and from where we came from, we just had a great year."

Although he won't give himself the credit, Moore was one of the main reasons for the team's turnaround. He passed for over 3,000 yards, rushed for over 850 yards and registered a total of 42 touchdowns, quickly becoming one of the top junior quarterbacks in the south.

"I am most proud of my ring," Moore said referring to his state title ring. "It's not what I accomplished but it's the championship that I am the most proud of. The numbers really don't matter to me. I can throw a five yard pass any my receivers could run for 95 yards. It's not like I threw a 95-yard pass or anything.

"I am not saying I couldn't or I don't like it," Moore added with a laugh. "I just have great teammates."

Combined with his stats and his team-first attitude, it's no surprise that the scholarship offers are streaming in for Moore.

The All-State QB currently holds offers from Bowling Green, Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, Southern Mississippi, Tulsa, Virginia Tech, Western Michigan and, last but least, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin first got into contact with Moore after seeing his 2007 highlight tape and offered him a scholarship at the end of March. In addition, Moore has been receiving personal letters from offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, who is the primary recruit of Wisconsin's quarterbacks.

"Wisconsin is always a top 25 school," Moore said. "They have always had a good school and with one or two players they recruit that are big (top talent) with the players around them, they could win a national championship. They are on the national radar and their offense could run either a pro-style or a spread, which is a big thing for a quarterback wanting to go to the next level in college. You want to go into a system that can prepare you and Wisconsin offers that."

Moore hasn't set a timetable for his school decision. He's attempted camps at Mississippi and Oklahoma State and plans to hit up multiple camps this summer, including one at Wisconsin. He plans to make his decision whenever he feels it's the right time, whether before, during or after his senior year at Louisville.

"I am not going to hold out for the sake of holding out," said Moore, who added that geography wouldn't play an issue into what school he chooses. "If that's the school I want to go to, I am going to go there and not wait on committing. But, I am not going to commit early and not look at my other options.

"If I get an offer from somebody, not saying that Wisconsin is not a good school because that's a real good program, and I go that's where I want to go, I'll commit early. But who knows?"

The reason that Moore isn't jumping on the recruiting trail right now is because of his role on the school's baseball team. Playing shortstop and batting third in the lineup, Moore has shown that he's more than a typical two-sport athlete.

"Right now I am batting about .400 with two homers and 25 RBIs," Moore said. "It's OK. My home runs are down, so that's bothering me a little bit. I always want to do a little better."

Moore is a typical duel-option quarterback that, as his numbers show, has the ability to make the tough completion or tuck the ball and run for the first down. But, through Moore's eyes, he also can see himself as a pocket quarterback, waiting behind his offensive line and waiting for the play to develop.

"I like to throw, first and foremost, but I am not afraid to run if I have to," Moore said. "Coach will call running plays within our offense that are designed especially for me. I still see myself as a pocket quarterback but I still like to throw on the move and things like that."

Although he's busy currently with baseball and will be travelling the country looking at schools, Moore still is determined to find time to work and improve on his entire game, something that he feels is necessary to compete well at the next level.

"I am trying to get better at everything," Moore said. "It's not just one little thing. I am going to try to work on my speed and arm strength but everything can get better."

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