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July 10, 2013
DeSOTO, Texas -- Dylan Moses blended in with the other recruits at the Rivals250 Underclassmen Challenge presented by Under Armour, but he is far from ordinary.
Most of the prospects at the Underclassmen Challenge were 2015 recruits and some were 2016 players trying to get their name on the radar. But there was Moses, who just finished his eighth grade -- middle school of all things -- getting plenty of attention.
He has not played any high school football but already has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Texas and UCLA. He's already met with some of the most decorated coaches in college football. The advanced nature of his recruitment is awe-inspiring.
The Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab athlete -- who played linebacker at the Underclassmen Challenge but also stars at running back -- is even being asked for his autograph, being called a role model by kids his own age.
Someone from Iowa sent a magazine for Moses -- a middle school kid who just became eligible to get a learner's permit -- to sign and send back.
"He was a kid and he is one of my fans and he was telling me how much he looks up to me," Moses said of the autograph seeker. " Sometimes I don't get it because they say they look up to me, but I'm the same age as them."
The rising freshman has plenty of gifts. He backed down from no running backs or wide receivers during one-on-ones at the Underclassmen Challenge and usually won the reps. He's filled out with muscle, moves well and looked like he belonged. Not only belonged, but looked like one of the better linebackers at any event this offseason, even if Moses still has a baby face.
"Moses is a very physically gifted kid for a prospect who hasn't played a down of high school football and he is very strong for his age," Rivals.com national analyst Mike Farrell said. "He's good at getting his hands on opponents off the snap to re-direct them and he has the suddenness and explosion to close quickly moving forward or backward.
"For Moses to not only compete but stand out competing against prospects two grades ahead of him is impressive and nothing seems to overwhelm him from the media attention to the rise in competition level," Farrell said. "Since I saw him at the Birmingham RCS, he has improved and added size and strength in just a few months."
The recruiting timetable has been fast-forwarded in such a manner that Moses is not the only 2017 national prospect with offers and two players -- Mansfield (Texas) Lake Ridge's Loren Mondy to Arizona State and Poway, Calif., quarterback Tate Martell to Washington -- have committed - but no one is getting press like Moses.
For the 2017 recruit, meeting all the college coaches and getting all the attention has been enjoyable -- so far.
"I just sit back and take it all in," Moses said. "Kids dream of meeting all these coaches like Nick Saban and Mack Brown and they see them on TV all the time and they wonder how they are in person. I got to see them in person and have that experience. It was a cool experience. They're pretty cool when you get to know them. They're not the same people you see on TV."
Moses could be playing for one of those coaches, or another popular name, in the coming years. The college football landscape changes so frequently it's hard to say what Texas or Alabama or LSU will look like in four years -- think about changes from four years ago; think about how it might look when Moses is ready to make his decision.
Moses doesn't plan to announce his commitment anytime soon -- even in the next few years -- so this will be one to watch for a while.
"I'm going to be visiting these schools for four years and it's going to make me develop a good relationship with all the coaches," Moses said. "It's going to be good for me. It will be great to do."
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