If you're playing well for a big high school, college football programs are going to find you. Guys who play for small schools – even successful schools – usually have a harder time getting the exposure of their large school counterparts.
Then you have the case of junior Samuel Moore.
Moore's Verndale Pirates completed an undefeated regular season and didn't lose until the Section 4 9-man final, but seemingly under the radar, even Moore was surprised by the interest he has received.
“I don't even know how it happened,” Moore admitted. “One day I came into school, and my coach handed me a letter from Iowa. I had never heard anything before then. I hadn't sent them anything – they haven't told me how they found me. North Dakota State heard about me from my recruiting coach at Iowa. He used to coach at NDSU and told NDSU about me, but Iowa – I have no idea. I am still curious about how they found me in a small school in the middle of nowhere.”
He now has a scholarship offer from both the Bison and the Hawkeyes. The offers came despite a season Moore felt was not as successful as he had hoped.
“The season went alright,” Moore said. “It was disappointing not making it to state.”
For a small school, Verndale had a significant size advantage in the trenches against most teams.
“We had an athletic team,” Moore said. “We forced turnovers and were able to move the ball against most teams. Our line was big for a small school. Next year I will be the smallest guy on the line. I am 230 – that is a big line for 9-Man.”
Injuries limited NFN's 59th ranked 2018 prospect. He missed parts of three games – first because of a sprained ankle and then later because of a broken hand.
“I didn't feel my season went very well. Most of the games the varsity was out by halftime,” the 6-foot-5, 230-pound lineman said. “I figured it out once – I only played about six games in reality – because of the varsity being out by halftime or I was injured. My stats were not as good as my sophomore stats.”
Moore played some tight end and primarily defensive tackle.
“I think my overall athleticism is my strength,” Moore said. “I move well for a guy my size. I can get around someone or go through them.”
This winter he was in the weight room focusing on the core lifts – squat, clean and bench. This spring he competed on the track team. To say he did well would be an understatement.
“I won the Class A title in both the shot and the discus.”
His success in track might lead him to a Division II school.
“I might visit a D-II school or two,” Moore said. “They were interested in me for track. Minnesota-Duluth and Bemidji State have been recruiting me. I figured that a D-I wouldn't let me do track and football, but when NDSU offered me my scholarship, they said there was a chance I could do track.”
The college coaches have told him they like his athletic ability and his size. If they play their cards right, they might be able to get Moore to make them a custom knife. If football doesn't work out, he could look into becoming a professional blacksmith.
“I have a forge (to heat the metal), and I take old railroad ties and springs off of old cars and make them into knives. It is a lot of fun.”
When not crafting his latest creation, this summer Moore has been focused on improving his pass rush abilities, getting off blocks and improving his overall defensive technique.
A secret no longer, if Moore can stay healthy and have another successful season – the Pirate senior will not be under the radar anymore.