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R.J. Moten’s path to Michigan, outlook for 2022

Moten is ready to be a leader for the Michigan secondary.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 30 Michigan at Michigan State Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

R.J. Moten is one of many Michigan Wolverines to come to Ann Arbor from New Jersey. Moten attended Delran High School in New Jersey, where he was a star football and baseball player. In fact, Moten intended on playing both football and baseball when he first came to Michigan.

Delran didn’t have great football seasons when Moten was a freshman and sophomore, but his junior and senior seasons were two of the best in recent Delran history.

During his junior year, Delran finished 7-1, but Moten’s senior year was when they captured Delran’s first sectional championship since 1992. The team finished 8-2 and won their final eight games.

Going into his recruitment, Moten considered baseball as well. Out of high school, Moten was projected to go as high as a top-10 round pick in the MLB Draft. However, the draft didn’t happen like normal due to the pandemic and Moten was never swayed by being drafted. It was important to him to play baseball in college, and even ruled schools out if that wasn’t an option.

In terms of football, Moten was given a four-star ranking by 247Sports as the 205th overall player in the nation, 18th safety and sixth in New Jersey.

Moten’s offers were Big Ten and ACC heavy — Duke, Virginia, Syracuse, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Penn State and others. He was also offered by Notre Dame. He ultimately chose Michigan with the intention of playing both football and baseball.

After being on campus for a few days, Moten decided it would be best for him to just play football, wrapping up his baseball career altogether.

He only appeared in one game on special teams during his freshman season, but he took quite the leap during his sophomore year in 2021. Moten appeared in every game and was an integral part of the Michigan secondary, racking up 34 tackles, three pass deflections and one interception.

With that experience under his belt and some lost talent from a year ago, Moten will have a huge role in 2022. He will start in the secondary, most likely alongside sophomore Rod Moore. Moten is going to be a leader on defense and will need to have a big year for Michigan’s secondary to be successful.