Name: Chet Moss
40 Time: N/A
High School: Cedar Park
Rivals Rating: 4*, 5.8
Moss is a tough customer vs. the inside run; is an opportunistic player who is always around the ball. His size and toughness are the necessary qualities for the inside linebacker position at the major level of competition. Displays good flexibility with the agility, balance and quickness to scrape off the edge; has very good instincts and K&D ability. Will step up and take on lineman with the playing strength to defeat the block and still get to the football. Is a very good downhill player and can stack in short yardage situations. Is capable of avoiding blocks while working thru traffic on plays away; flashes lateral quickness vs. the outside run. This player shows good run blitz and backside run stopping toughness. We see a very disciplined and determined run stopper from the inside to the edge. Flashes good short / medium zone coverage skill however his hips appear to be a little tight when crossing over into zone coverage. Shows good underneath route recognition with better than average ball catching skills; will have to improve his ability to cover inside receivers in man coverage situations. This prospect has a very good motor and displays excellent pursuit habits all over the field which result in caused and recovered fumbles. His tackling skills, determination and aggressiveness make him a very good candidate for early special teams play. Moss may not be an immediate starter at the next level however his skill level is such that early playing time is a possibility while his coverage skills improve.
Chet is a gap-filling linebacker that does a very good job of diagnosing plays and putting himself in position to bring down a ball carrier at or near the line of scrimmage. He has a pin missile quality to him in that once he's programmed (diagnoses a play) to detonate a target (ball carrier), he plays with much more speed, suddenness, and...heh...explosion. Coming downhill and wrapping up is Moss' greatest strength and an area where he is extremely dependable and can really impact the game.
Chet compensates for his somewhat undeveloped strength by wrapping up low around the legs with good pace and push and continues churning until the ball carrier is on the ground, although this generally doesn't take him too long as he does a great job of using his legs to drive throughout the tackle in order seal the deal.
Moss also demonstrates very good lateral burst in pursuit once he's dialed in to a play, which allows him to negate sideways rushing yards in favor of zero yardage or negative yardage plays. Unless you're double blocking him or are stretching out a running play all the way to the sideline, Chet is going to be involved in any play from one side of the slot to the other. He's a player that knows how to dominate his area and takes great angles to opponents to get there efficiently and with enough momentum to make a relatively easy solo tackle. Really love his short-range burst and one-on-one tackling ability. Also love his confidence in taking on and getting by an offensive lineman while still being prepared to blow up the running back in the backfield.
While I love Chet when he's staring down a play, I'm much less confident in him once he gets behind one. He's what I'd describe as a hunter instead of a pursuer. By that I mean he is very good when sniffing out unsuspecting prey and finishing off a play early, but the longer the play goes on the more his skill set is less visible and his weaknesses emerge. He doesn't show very good recovery or catch-up speed, which is okay because of where he's going to be playing on the field. He's not going to be chasing WR's 50 yards downfield with much success...
Strength is an issue for Chet, despite what ESPN says. He thrives on technique and leg drive to take down ball carries, but there are going to be times when you just have to be strong enough to impede a running back with a huge hole to run through when you're flat on your ass and can only get a couple fingers of jersey.
Once Moss gets stronger, he'll be able to more quickly shed offensive lineman and other blockers and continue his downhill assault on the offense. Right now he kind of stalls the blockers while he diagnoses the play, then throws them off and finishes the ball carrier. This technique isn't gonna cut it with UT fans watching him play LB, much less Manny Diaz.
Finally, Chet needs to really improve his hips, as ESPN listed above. He takes far too long to change directions and backpedaling just seems somewhat foreign to him right now. Seriously, the guy loves coming downhill. He's good in zone coverage when he can keep everything in front of him and read his keys appropriately, but it'll be awhile before Texas can trust him to run with TEs or inside receivers.
Target Body Type
Right now Moss doesn't have a college football ready body, and anybody who saw his *ahem* (beer?)gut from the 7-on-7 picture that surfaced a few months back will know what I'm talking about. He does, however, have a very compact and sturdy frame to build on. I definitely see him as a guy that will benefit from some action figure sculpting with Bennie Wylie. Dustin Earnest and Rod Muckelroy played MLB here at like 220 and it really, really hampered their tackling ability against teams with even the most remote form of a power running game. Chet is going to be bigger than both of those guys and he's a definite hard-nosed type that will want to play around 240 (remember he's only about 6'1") if he can get there.
Chet is a middle linebacker all the way and a true downhill enforcer that Texas really hasn't had here in a while. Hell I can't even remember the last guy UT had that people were afraid of coming to fill gaps for them at LB. It might take two or three years for Moss to get on the field because there are some phenomenal players and talents ahead of him and in his same class, but once he retools his body into a weapon I have little doubt Chet will see quality time backing up the guys already on campus and getting some good run when UT goes 3-4. His run stuffing skills will be crucial against teams like OU and A&M that like to pound it up the middle when UT is weak there.
Let's not forget to give Moss his propers for helping the coaches hold the 2011 recruiting class together. Guys like Steve Edmond and Kendall Thompson were wavering for less than a day thanks to Chet giving them a good talking to about how Texas is still Texas with or without Muschamp. GoBR is way better at finding quotes than I am, but I'm sure he can throw a few up either as an edit to this page or down in the comments section that epitomizes how much this guy loves being a Longhorn. He and Quandre Diggs get the golden ball when it comes to convincing their teammates to stay true to their commitments and showing mad love for the program. So thanks to both of those players for everything they've done and said in that regard.