It was quite a weekend for Minnesota defensive lineman Samuel Moore. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Moore, who plays 9-man football at Verndale, was still looking for his first scholarship offer as he set out to attend a camp at North Dakota State on Saturday. By the end of the day, he had not one, but two with the first coming from the Iowa Hawkeyes.
“I was at NDSU’s camp and my dad actually pulled me aside after a drill and said that my recruiting coach at Iowa had called and that I should call him back,” said Moore. “So I decided to take a break and call him back right then and that’s when they offered.”
On the phone was Iowa’s lead recruiter, Tim Polasek, who was the offensive coordinator at North Dakota State prior to joining the Hawkeyes’ staff this past February. After talking things over, Polasek and the Iowa coaching staff decided they had seen more than enough potential in Moore at their camp earlier in June to extend an offer.
“I don’t even remember what he said,” Moore said with a laugh. “All I remember is that I got the offer.”
For a 9-man player from a small town in Northwest Minnesota, landing his first scholarship offer from a Big Ten school was a big moment for Moore and his family.
“I can’t even describe the feeling,” said Moore. “Coming from a small town in the middle of nowhere, just to get a Big Ten offer is insane.”
“It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do is go play football at a Division I college and to get a full ride is crazy,” he continued.
After receiving the news from Iowa, Moore continued on with his day at North Dakota State and before heading home found himself with a scholarship offer from the Bison as well.
“Later that day, they had a 7-on-7 thing that I stayed for, and the recruiting organizer pulled me aside and had me go talk to the head coach and he offered me a full ride,” Moore said.
A versatile prospect with good size at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Moore has played all over the field in high school at Verndale the last couple of years.
“In high school, I’ve played fullback, tight end, tackle, d-tackle, and d-end, so just about everywhere on the line and then also fullback,” said Moore. “This year I might possibly be playing some wide receiver or wingback too.”
At their camps, Iowa and North Dakota State gave him a look on both sides of the ball, but each coaching staff feels his future is on the defensive line, probably growing into a defensive tackle eventually.
“They were considering me for both offensive and defensive line, but they ended up offering on defense,” said Moore.
“I’d much rather play defense anyway,” he continued. “I just don’t really have the temperament for offense.”
Since adding the two offers this past weekend, Moore has starting receiving additional interest including some contact from Minnesota yesterday, but remains focused on his top two at the moment.
“Minnesota hadn’t said anything to me until after I got the Iowa offer,” Moore said. “Now they’re talking to me.”
“But I’m pretty much just considering NDSU and Iowa,” he continued. “Those are the two schools that I like and that I’ve always liked really.”
One thing that both programs have been quick to mention is their success with players from small schools, including 8-man and 9-man teams.
“Iowa’s had a lot of good kids come out of 8-man and 9-man teams,” said Moore. “Their last 9-man player was Chad Greenway and he ended up playing for the Vikings. Then they have had quite a few 8-man players on their roster too and have some there right now.”
“Then at NDSU, I know for sure there’s one 9-man player there that I actually played against,” he continued. “That’s Matt Biegler. He’s probably going to be their starting defensive tackle this year.”
Once the shock of all the sudden interest dies down, Moore plans to sit down and start weighing the pros and cons of playing college football at Iowa or North Dakota State.
“I’d like to have some time to think things over,” Moore said. “Just to have some time to let it sink in actually. Everything happened so fast, all in one day, so it’s been a little crazy.”
If all goes according to plan, the Class of 2018 prospect would like to make his college decision this summer before his senior year at Verndale.
“It will probably be by early August or before,” said Moore. “I start football in early August and it would be nice to have it done, so I can just focus on my own team and what I have to do here.”
A state champion in the shot put (59-11.75) and discus (180-6), Moore finished his junior year of football with 54 tackles, 7 TFL, and 3.5 sacks this past season.
See highlights from Moore’s career at Verndale in the video below.