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Football Recruiting Report
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

By Sammy Batten

Class of 2013 starts with star LB Moss

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

Antonio Moore has seen a lot of football talent come and go as a player in the 1980s and as head coach the last decade at Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City, NC.

But in all that time, Moore doesn't recall any Northeastern player receiving and accepting a scholarship offer to join a Football Bowl Subdivision program before the end of his junior year.

That covers some pretty major talent when you consider the Eagles have produced a number of major-college recruits like former North Carolina running back Jacque Lewis, Virginia Tech linebacker Dewen Sutton as well as ex-East Carolina Pirates Daronte McNeill (running back) and Javon Brumsey (wide receiver).

Jamieon Moss became the exception to that standard during the final week of February when he made a verbal commitment to become the first member of ECU's recruiting Class of 2013.

Northeastern's junior linebacker chose the Pirates after visiting campus and meeting ECU head coach Ruffin McNeill on February 24, according to Moore.

The Pirates had already been recruiting Moss before the visit and had told Moore they intended to offer a scholarship, although one hadn't officially been extended. But that all changed when McNeill and his staff were able to get a close-up look at Moss on campus.

“They wanted us to come down, so they could show him around and talk football with him,'' Moore said. “But I really think they wanted to check out his size.''

Moss stands 6-foot-3, weighs about 217 pounds and has been timed at 4.61 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He used those skills to collect 107 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks to earn All-Northeastern Coastal 2-A/3-A Conference honors last season.

The 2011 season was Moss' second as a varsity starter at Northeastern. He helped the 2010 squad reach the state 2-AA championship game as a sophomore.

Moore hasn't been surprised by Moss' emergence as a major college prospect. From the moment Moss stepped on the football practice field as a freshman at Northeastern, Moore felt he had great potential.

“He already had a decent frame as a freshman,'' Moore said. “He was about 6-1 and weighed probably 175. We knew he could turn into something if he worked hard in the weight room. He's put in the time and it's paying off for him. He kind of grew up fast.''

Moss plays the “Stabber'' position in Northeastern's 4-4 defensive alignment. “We put him on the outside and just let him make plays for us,'' Moore said.

One of those “plays'' came last season against rival Hertford County. The Eagles were clinging to a slim lead with Hertford's offense setting up for a go-ahead, fourth-and-goal play at the 10-yard line and 30 seconds left to play.

“Their quarterback was giving us trouble all night with the zone read (in spread offense),'' Moore said. “On that fourth-and-goal they attempted a zone read, but he (Moss) stayed home. The quarterback was probably a second faster than him, but Jamieon stayed on him. The quarterback tried to put a move on him, but he stayed in his tracks and made a perfect tackle. He drove him about five yards back and we won the game.''

Those are the kind of plays ECU is hoping Moss will someday make as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 alignment.

“He would do pretty much the same things in their defense that he does in ours,'' Moore said.

Moss, who is originally from Louisiana, received his first offer from ECU. But N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill, Virginia and Virginia Tech are also showing interest. Moore expects Moss will take some visits to check out those schools, too, but he believes the commitment to the Pirates is solid.

“He'll look around, but I think he felt really comfortable at ECU,'' Moore said. “Since we've had a few kids go to East Carolina and play, we take our players to two or three games there every year. He knows what a great atmosphere it is in Greenville and he really likes that.''

Moore also said the Pirates have offered Northeastern's junior wide receiver Marquise Whidbee, a 6-1, 180-pounder who caught 40 passes for 776 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.

E-mail Sammy Batten

PAGE UPDATED 03/07/12 04:28 AM.

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