Monday, January 14, 2013
Sooners trip worth the wait for 4-star CB
By Bob Przybylo
For a while, it looked like four-star cornerback L.J. Moore (Fresno, Calif./Central East) and Oklahoma never were going to get on the same page.
Cornerback L.J. Moore has Oregon State and Oklahoma in his top two, but will visit Arizona State this weekend.
It all worked out in the end, though, culminating with a great official visit from Moore to the campus over the weekend.
Moore, who is 6-foot and 164 pounds, wanted to visit OU in October before those plans were scrapped. There was some talk this visit was going to be postponed as well. It wasn’t, and it’s a good thing for OU fans.
“I really liked the campus,” Moore said. “It’s a city that is surrounded by fans that love football. They support the team so much. It was great to see.”
In October, Moore had an idea about how diehard OU fans can be. When he made his official visit to Texas Tech, it was the weekend that OU stomped the Red Raiders in Lubbock. Moore said afterward he couldn’t believe how many OU fans were there.
And even though students didn’t have to be back on campus over the weekend, it was still a positive environment. Moore, ranked No. 28 at cornerback, was hosted by defensive back Julian Wilson. Like most OU hosts, Wilson didn’t sugarcoat anything.
“He talked about how I need to be ready to work if I pick OU,” Moore said. “He said it’s not easy, but if you work hard, it’s worth it. He also showed me around campus, so that was nice.”
Moore built up a solid relationship with OU defensive backs coach Mike Stoops during the summer. But as the fall progressed, both sides thought the other wasn’t as interested.
It wasn’t until a trip to Fresno Central East to visit ESPN 300 safety and OU commit Hatari Byrd that the lines of communication were open again with Moore and Bob and Mike Stoops.
Make no mistake about it now, though, the communication is there, and coach Bob Stoops stressed to Moore how vital he can be for OU’s class.
“It felt nice to be wanted like that, to be told how wanted I am,” Moore said. “I know they are great coaches who could make me a much better player. He kept saying I could make an impact.”
There were rumors floating around Sunday morning of a commitment to OU. They didn’t prove to be true, but it speaks a bit about just how much fun and how comfortable Moore was on his first trip to Norman, Okla.
It looked like Oregon State was the clear leader. Now? Well, maybe not.
“I like Oregon State a lot, but I did have a great visit at OU,” Moore said. “Those are the top two schools, for sure.”
Moore will take one more official visit this weekend to Arizona State but said he has no timetable for a decision and might wait until signing day to make anything official.
The Sooners have one cornerback in the class with ESPN 300 athlete Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central) and are looking for at least one or two more. With Byrd already solid with the Sooners, Moore could be just what Stoops is looking for.