It's time for the final OL film review of Maryland's recruiting class of 2014. Next up is Austin (Texas) Westwood left tackle Brendan Moore. We'll start out with an irrelevant but fun fact about Moore's high school, Westwood. For any of you who were into the great TV series "Friday Night Lights," the Texas location all the football scenes were shot in, Williamson County, is where Westwood is located.
The main focus of the show was a fictional team called the Dillon Panthers, but the "P" on their helmets actually stands for a rival team of Moore's, Pflugerville, and the annual TV opponent they called Wescott (burnt orange with a big 'W' on the helmet') was actually Westwood, where Moore played. Did he ever land a date with this cheerleader? You'll have to ask him yourself!
Anyway, I know this because a few years ago I lived and worked in Williamson County and covered those teams, including Westwood. It's good Texas football. Not great, but definitely good. Pulling a left tackle from a good, big Texas high school is a good get. As we'll see below, Brendan Moore is definitely no exception to that rule.
Click on any of the rest of the '14 linemen -- Damian Prince, Derwin Gray, Larry Mazyck and Sean Christie -- to see their film breakdowns.
You can see a nice compilation of Brendan Moore's senior year film clips here.
I would also encourage anyone who hasn't yet to read this excellent recruiting piece that Moore himself wrote. You can never judge a book by its cover, but this young man sure seems like he simply gets it.
The Recruit: Brendan Moore
High School: Austin (Texas) Westwood
247sports composite: Three stars, .8210 rating, 118th-best offensive tackle, 184th-best player in Texas
Measurables: 6-foot-4, 270 pounds. His listed 40 time is 4.91 (quite good for an OL). His listed bench (285) and squat (430) are not so great, but hey, that's what strength and conditioning is for.
Senior season: Westwood played a very good non-district schedule early in the year, so they took their lumps, rallied late and reached the playoffs -- despite their 4-7 overall record -- then lost in the first round. The Warriors did not rush the ball well, averaging just 60 yard per game, but with Moore protecting the blindside, they rolled up over 3,200 passing yards with 26 TDs compared to 11 picks. Moore was protecting a big-time high school QB as well. Westwood's Bear Fenimore (nice name!) committed to the University of Houston back in December, so that speaks well for the quality of the offense Moore was functioning in.
Offers: Moore picked Maryland pretty early in the game, but also has a nice offer list that includes Missouri, Boise State, Wake Forest, Texas Tech, and I'll add in -- just for character's sake -- Yale. Pete Volk, a much better recruiting mind than myself, noted in his initial signing story that the Boise offer is particularly telling, because the Broncos have (had?) a solid record of selecting smaller linemen and molding them into highly successful college studs that flourish in a great offense.
On film: Looking at the incoming OLs as a group, I had high hopes for the film of Damian Prince and Derwin Gray and wasn't disappointed on either front. Larry Mazyck, I worried, was a huge guy whose size might be his best attribute, but the film revealed a nice, polished player who plays disciplined football and knows how to use his frame. Sean Christie is clearly the project of the group -- and the most likely redshirt -- as his pace and technique seem to lag behind the others a bit.
Moore, I would put in the "very pleasant surprise" category along with Mazyck. Is he a giant, athletic freak of nature like Prince and Gray? No. But still, there's just so much to love about Moore's film. I'm not sure which I enjoyed watching more, his speed or all his pancake blocks. Twist my arm and I'll go with the speed. Brendan Moore has a big motor and great mobility around the line and beyond. He gets downfield in a hurry; he pulls quickly and with authority, he comes off his initial blocks very quickly and immediately starts seeking another target.
Now, the pancakes. It's a film compilation, which means there should be a lot of pancakes, simply because it's the lineman's statistical version of a home run, because it's pleasing to the eye, and most importantly, because college recruiters want to see lots of them. Moore has more pancakes on his film than any of our other '14 OL commits, for whatever that's worth. To me, that says he's mean, he's hungry and he finishes plays. I like it. Who wouldn't?
With technique, again I'll ask some of you OL-wise commenters (cough, cough ... TESTUDBRO .. cough, cough) to chip in here, because I was never schooled in the specifics of footwork, technique, scheming, etc. To my amateur eye, I'm just not really seeing any obvious flaws. He stays low off the snap and maintains a good pad level through contact, he keeps his knees bent, he's fluid and athletic, his steps are meaningful and he never seems to have balance issues. In the couple pass blocking clips, he moves well laterally and keeps his shoulders and arms square to the defender. There's just a lot to like here, even relative to the stud OLs who will be his Terp classmates.
I'm going to point out one potential negative that could be my imagination, but whatever, here it is anyway. I'm not sure, based on this film, that I'm buying Moore's listed height and weight of 6-4, 270. His frame doesn't strike me as a 270 frame and if he's really 6-4, those are some giant high school football teams he's playing against. Furthering my hypothetical argument here, I would say that his film is impressive enough that if he were a legit 6-4 and 270, I think he'd have gotten the Texas and Texas A&M offers that every high school football player in the Lone Star State covets. He didn't get 'em, and my guess is it's because he's undersized. Now, if this is true, it should be said that exaggerated heights and weights are not at all uncommon. When I played basketball, I was a 6-foot-2 shooting guard but really I'm 5-foot-10 (and a half, but who's counting?). I'll venture a guess that probably 75% of our commits aren't really the height or weight they're listed at, especially if they weren't invited to national combines where they were measured by the recruiting sites that list those numbers. Moore may be small, or maybe not, but it's not a concern to me. The important thing is that he's good, and I think he really is based on this film.
2014 outlook: Moore is the most interesting 2014 case of the five new OLs. Pete, who knows such things, believes Moore is the heir apparent at center, but that's where Sal Conaboy lives. It's the one position on the line where Maryland has some sense of certainty and meaningful experience. So with Moore, if he's going to be a center, you can make the argument that the Terps shouldn't burn his redshirt just to be a backup. On the other side of that argument, though, is the fact that Moore looks like a good player who can help now. He was a tackle, which means he should be able to slide inside and help at guard too and thus be a backup at multiple positions. I don't know if Moore will play this year or not, but I hope the Terps are solid enough between the returning guys and the higher-rated newcomers that they don't need to burn his redshirt. Plus, with his sub-300 bench, it would be nice to see him get stronger before he sees the field. Give the kid a year in the system, let him build up his strength and hone his skills, then turn him loose as a redshirt freshman in 2015.
Longterm outlook: Brendan Moore, on film, is a good football player. Brendan Moore, the person who wrote "How to get recruited to play college football," is a grounded kid with high character. Good football players with good character succeed at the college level. In other words, get to know the name Brendan Moore. It may or may not happen this fall, but this keeper OL will make his mark in Maryland's Under Armour gear before he's through. So, Brendan Moore, Testudo Times offers you a Texas-sized welcome to College Park. You may have to trade in your chicken-fried steak for our crab cakes, but hey, I can think of a dish that folks from both great states love -- pancakes!
Here's a quick poll ... What do you guys think of Brendan Moore's film?