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Chet Moss Fulfills Lifelong Dream

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Instant analysis -- A piggyback ride was all it took ($). When wide receiver Kwame Cavil put a young Chet Moss on his shoulders and took him into the offensive huddle during practice, Moss was sold -- from that moment, he wanted to become a Texas Longhorn. In the early evening before the first Texas Junior Day for the 2011 class, the Cedar Park linebacker received his Texas offer and committed on the spot, fulfilling his lifelong dream and ending the recruiting process virtually before it even started.

For Moss, the moment was surely a relief as well, as other teams no doubt backed off in their recruitment of the area product, knowing his affinity for the Longhorns. So even though Moss publicly maintained a relatively neutral stance and open mind, had he not received his Texas offer, it would have been difficult for him to regain the attention of schools that had basically given up on recruiting him.

It's the danger that a handful of Texas targets face every season, particularly if they make their feelings for Texas known publicly early in the process. Loving Texas football with all your heart can be a heart-breaking proposition for numerous Texas high school football players every year. But for Moss, everything worked out as planned and he will play fooball for the only university he's ever wanted to attend.

Instant scouting report -- Moss is known for being a downhill linebacker at the high school level who also has adequate speed to play in a base 4-2-5 that places an emphasis on linebackers having to range to play sideline to sideline. With that being said, Moss does not have the pure speed of spread linebackers with Aaron Benson and Corey Nelson. As a result, Moss must make up for his lack of elite speed by reading and diagnosing quickly and taking strong angles to the football. All indications are that he does both of those things well.

On film, Moss shows a remarkable playmaking ability -- he looks like an Acho brother with his abilty to separate the ball from a ballcarrier and does so without giving up his ability to make tackles, while also showing a remarkable ability to find himself around the football and secure it. If former Westwood star Princeton Collins, a Utah commit in 2010, doesn't have nightmares about Moss it would be a major surprise, as Moss separated him from the football once late in the season and recovered another fumble, while generally appearing to make life miserable for the opposing running back.

Moss is comfortable playing in the middle close to the line of scrimmage and doesn't mind taking on blockers and fights well through the wash -- he's a physical kid and it shows in his tackling. He's not exactly Tevin Jackson in terms of bringing the wood every time, but he's not an arm tackler and he uses his lower body well to explode into ballcarriers.

Even though Moss does well taking on and shedding blockers, as he learns to better use his leverage and shoot his hands with more violence, he will be extremely difficult for opposing offensive linemen to deal with at the second level or at the line of scrimmage. On one third-and-1 play against Westwoo, Moss absolutely destroys the fullback to make a play in the backfield.

In terms of criticism, Moss at times looks stiff at times in coverage and will have to work on his overall flexibility and the fluidity in his hips, but the good news is that he has a frame that is almost college ready at this point at around 220 pounds, so he won't need a great deal of time in the weight room to add bulk to hold up at the point of attack.

Similarly, Moss isn't an exceptional athlete, but he has enough short-area quickness and downhill burst to play linebacker at the collegiate level and contribute. He's not exactly destined to be a star, but a strong comparison might be Dustin Earnest, another linebacker who was considered something of a reach, but who worked his way into contributing last season as a junior and even payed a major role in the second half of the national championship game replacing an injured or ineffective Roddrick Muckelroy.

Even in the age of spread offenses, there are still power running teams out there and when the Longhorns face those teams in the future, Chet Moss could well become an integral part of the defensive gameplan with his physicality at the point of attack and that's why he wasn't a reach in this class. The sexiest linebacker? No, but a large part of that is the fact that it's been common knowledge for almost a year that he was essentially a Texas lock.

 

Chet Moss last three games 2009 (via 13flyfishing)