L.J. Moore Recruit Scouting Report: True Man-To-Man Cover Corner

L.J. Moore is one of the better man-to-man corners out West.

L.J. Moore is just one of the latest defensive back prospects hailing from Fresno, Calif. He follows in the rich, yet understated tradition of players who come from the area. Fresno Edison High School has put out such luminaries as former San Francisco 49ers safety Tim McDonald, former Cincinnati Bengals running back Elbert "Ickey" Woods, and other former NFL players such as Ricky Manning Jr. and Clifton Smith. And don't forget former Charger linebacker Charles Anthony, former Patriots Greg Boyd and Charles Young. Those three were the original NFLers who helped to start the tradition of talented players from Fresno who played football on the highest level.

Now, Fresno Central (East campus) High School has begun to produce FBS caliber football talent in recent years themselves, starting with Notre Dame signee Tee Shepard (who has since left Notre Dame). Moore is part of a triumvirate of current Central High defensive backs (along with current teammates Hatari Byrd and Johnny Johnson) who have seen their recruiting stock rise in the last several months. Moore currently has close to 15 offers from such schools as Arizona State, Arizona, California, Notre Dame, Fresno State, UCLA, Georgia, and Oklahoma. Moore is a consensus four-star recruit.

Positives:

  • Ball skills/awareness
  • Great leaper
  • Length

Questions:

  • Explosiveness
  • Tackling form

Within a shifting football landscape and spread offenses forcing opposing defenses to employ more zone coverage, L.J. Moore is a cornerback who specializes in old school man to man coverage. Moore is a prospect who possesses a tall, rangy build. And though he doesn't have the biggest frame, he should be able to max out in the 185-190 pound range in college given his height (6'0"). Moore can play either press or off man coverage. But at this stage he clearly prefers pressing wide receivers at the line of scrimmage.

Moore is balanced in his set and often uses an aggressive two hand jam to re-route wide receivers when they have taken an outside release. He utilizes an "off-hand" jam when a receiver has released inside and looks to operate in-between the numbers. Moore is sound from a technique standpoint, although from time to time he'll get caught peeking at the quarterback pre-snap and shoot his hands out a bit late.

Moore is an athlete who can quickly flip his hips once a receiver has released off the line of scrimmage and run with them vertically. He displays elite level ball skills as he is able to track downfield throws and use his leaping ability (track and field high jumper) to intercept or knock down passes at their highest point. High pointing the ball is one of his strengths as evidenced by his play as a red zone wide receiver on offense as well.

Moore will use his length to undercut and break up passes on slant routes. And though he is pretty good out of a t-step, he doesn't show elite short area quickness when redirecting or great burst when breaking on passes thrown in front of him. I would classify as more of a smooth, fluid athlete, as opposed to a quick twitch explosive defender. After being primarily used as a man coverage corner he will have to adjust to the zone concepts that are used at the collegiate level. That being said, Moore projects to be a very good cover cornerback who is able to press wide receivers at the line of scrimmage and win through the route.

2013 DB/ATH LJ Moore Highlights (via Prep1Force)

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