- Craig Haubert, ESPN Staff Writer
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Byron Moore Jr., 6-foot-1, 201 pounds
ESPN 150 Watch List athlete
Narbonne High School (Harbor City, Calif.)
In today's society of reality television and get-rich-quick schemes, it seems everyone wants what they want and they want it now. However athlete Byron Moore Jr. has shown that hard work and patience can still lead you to your dream.
Moore, who is entering his senior year Narbonne High School in California, has elevated himself among the top prospects in the 2009 class. Following this past February's national signing day, many prospects jumped to the forefront of the 2009 class. The state of California was loaded with prospects who were garnering major attention. In the midst of the hype, Moore continued to take care of business and focus on what he could control.
He is a very talented athlete who could excel on either side of the ball. Moore has the tools to be one of the top wide receivers in this class but is also a gifted defensive back, his likely position at the college level. Although he always possessed the skills, his performances at camps have increased his profile; he now ranks among the top players in the Class of 2009 and recently verbally committed to his dream school.
Moore has been playing the game since he was 5 years old, whether it would be flag football or full contact. Early on, his father Byron Sr. helped guide him as a coach. When Byron Jr. moved on to tackle he had different coaches, but his father remained a key part of his development.
"He has helped me a lot as a parent," Moore said. "Taking me to all these different football camps and paying for me to go to all these different training places. He has really helped me to develop my talent."
That dedication and hard work by father and son earned Moore several early scholarship offers, and in late April, he committed to UCLA. Although he grew up a fan of cross-town rival USC, he felt the Bruins were the right choice.
"At the time USC was not recruiting me that hard when I committed to UCLA."
Although he was committed, Moore still sought out competition, attending camps to test himself against other top prospects. When the opportunity came to attend USC's Rising Senior Camp, he was not going to turn it down.
"I just wanted to go in there and compete, have fun, and test myself." Moore said of his decision to attend the camp.With a stellar roster of participants on hand, Moore shined as one of the top players in the camp. He had success covering a group of receivers while he participated on the defensive side of the ball.
The hard work leading up to the camp paid off with the opportunity of a lifetime. The Trojans offered following the camp. Although he was committed to UCLA, Moore knew this was where he belonged.
"It was like a lifelong dream to always go to USC, so in the end I followed my heart and committed to USC," Moore said.
Early on in his playing days, Moore says that he was an offensive guy but that changed fairly quickly.
"When I first started playing I liked offense more and then when I got to tackle football I liked defense more because I like to hit," Moore said.
Moore says his experience playing offense has helped him as a defensive back.
"I know all the routes [from playing wide receiver] and at times I can tell when a receiver lines up in certain areas on the field I can pretty much call out his route," he said.
Moore is firm in his commitment to USC -- he says he won't take any more visits -- and is now focused on helping his high school team advance deep in the playoffs.
Moore's Scouts Inc. evaluation
This guy is a very good wide receiver. He looks just as good in person as he does on tape and is very versatile. Moore has excellent size; he's thickly built and extremely tough.
He is ultra-competitive in jump ball and contested matchups and has very good speed and explosiveness for his size. He can play inside or outside and is just as effective versus man coverage as he is zone. He is very smooth and fluid. Displays outstanding hands and can consistently catch over his head. Strong hands to pluck in traffic. Can snatch the ball on the run with very little wasted motion. Extends well outside his frame and has very long arms. Is a threat after the catch.
He does not possess elite initial burst, but he does display a second-gear to run away from defenders once he gets going. Sees the entire field and shows the change-of-direction ability to make sharp cuts without losing speed. Is strong and will drag some defenders for extra yards after the catch. Shows excellent open-field run skills and definitely has a future as a kick return man. Top-end straight-line speed is very good and he will win footraces. Moore may not be shifty and sudden in the open field, but he is elusive and smooth and very strong -- is difficult to bring down one-on-one.
Overall, Moore could really escalate into a top-flight WR at the next level and also has upside as a red-zone guy too. Excellent prospect.
Athlete Byron Moore Jr.'s patience during the recruiting process paid off, writes Craig Haubert.