- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
The Concord (Calif.) De La Salle football program has produced several college and NFL stars over the years, including running back Maurice Jones-Drew, linebacker D.J. Williams and defensive tackle Derek Landri. But for the unequaled success achieved by the program, the number of FBS prospects produced each year is surprisingly small. This year, however, the tough, disciplined nature of Spartans football will be headlined by several senior defensive standouts with impressive lists of scholarship offers.
Defensive end Austin Hooper and linebackers Michael Hutchings, Victor Egu and D.J. Moffitt lead the way for the Spartans, who should field one of the top defensive units in the region. But Moffitt said the nature of De La Salle’s program won’t shift extra attention to the four high-profile defensive recruits.
“Everyone on the team has to step up and be a leader,” Moffitt said. “When we’re on the field, what will make us good is when we all start coming together. At the end of the day, we all have to do our jobs.
“The thought process for us is that we can’t let the accolades and offers and interest get to our heads. We still have to act like we’re playing for something.”
Moffitt, who registered 56 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions as a junior, will line up at inside linebacker alongside Hutchings, a USC verbal commitment. While Mutchings received offers from programs across the country, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Moffitt has generated plenty of interest as well. Arizona, Colorado, Colorado State, Houston, UNLV, Utah and Washington State have offered already, but he said he’ll take his recruiting process well into the season. He said he hasn’t been focused on recruiting much in recent months, but will push for several new offers during the year.
The Wildcats are comfortably in Moffitt’s top four schools, but the remainder of that list -- California, Oregon and Washington -- has yet to offer.
Moffitt said the Huskies have told him they will evaluate him after his first game, and there is no timetable for when he will hear from the Golden Bears or Ducks. Most programs are recruiting him as a weakside linebacker, though the thought of working at safety in some coverage situations has been brought up as well. He added that he has no set plans for how to finish his recruiting process, though an idea is beginning to form.
“I think by the end of my season I’ll start narrowing it down real hard,” he said. “I’ll start to finalize official visits and talk to coaches more frequently.”
He will take all five of his visits, but at this point only one school is guaranteed to receive one.
“I want to take an official to Arizona for sure,” Moffitt said. “I just haven’t talked about a date with them yet.”