There’s something going on with the players at Northmont in Ohio. Michigan now has two commits from the school in the 2021 cycle, and both appear to be severely underrated by the recruiting services. Three-star wide receiver Markus Allen joined in late April, and I’ve been on the record saying he looks better than guys ranked well above him at the position.
Now with newest Michigan commit, safety Rod Moore, that trend continues. A few weeks ago, Moore was rated as an 84 on 247Sports, which is a low three-star. Since then he’s been bumped up to an 89, which is one spot away from four-star territory, but I still think that’s too low.
Watching Moore’s junior highlight reel, it is hard to find any holes in his game. Michigan’s defense requires safeties to be able to play both free and strong safety on any given play, and Moore’s versatility will play well in this system. Moore can patrol the deep third of the field in pass coverage or come up and lay the wood on a running back without hesitation.
Moore’s stat line as a junior backs up this assertion. He tallied 85 tackles, including three forced fumbles and four interceptions. He also claims a 4.41 40-yard dash, but that has not been verified at any camp. However, he did run the 200 meters in 22.17 seconds as a sophomore, which is faster than A.J. Henning’s 22.78 mark as a junior. That’s great speed and it shows up on the film.
Moore uses his speed to close the gap between him and receivers quickly, making what looked like an open spot for a quarterback into a mistake. On this play, Moore is trailing a receiver with the intent to not let him get deep. Moore quickly adjusts on short passes though, coming up in a flash to jump the route and grab the interception.
He shows this skill again on a fake punt attempt by the other team. Set up as the last line of defense, Moore realizes a player is going out for a route, gets on his horse and arrives in time to break up the pass.
Moore’s pass coverage is also bolstered by his fluid hips, which allows him to quickly change direction and track down receivers. Here, Moore is playing man on the inside receiver on his side of the field. Playing him with outside leverage, Moore is able to flip his hips and recover when the receiver breaks for the inside.
In run defense, Moore is aggressive and shows good form. He’s not afraid to come up from deep to make a tackle, similar to how Josh Metellus played.
Moore’s pursuit angle could have been better, but he clearly trusts his speed and is able to get to the ball carrier even while getting cut off by his teammate.
His speed also allows him to cut off ball carriers from getting the edge against him, like he does in the play below.
If I had to pick out anything wrong in his game, I would say Moore’s play recognition is a little slow at times. He can end up standing flat-footed and waiting for the play to develop, which causes him to be late to the play. The play above shows that, but his speed makes up for the slow processing.
Unless there is a glaring issue in Moore’s game that would only show up on film of a full game, I’m not sure what is holding him back from being a four-star. When he gets to campus, Daxton Hill will probably be in his last year before heading to the NFL. I could see Moore competing with the safeties signed in 2020 for that open spot as a redshirt freshman or sophomore.