Darius Moffett, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound three-star linebacker from Hubbard High School in Chicago, Ill., says there’s a “60-70 percent” chance that he’ll end up committing to Illinois.
The Illini still lead solidly over Cincinnati, Louisville, Michigan State and Miami (Oh). All of his favorites have offered (eight total).
“I like Illinois a lot,” Moffett said. “They really have everything I’m looking for, but I’m not ready to commit yet. I’ll probably wait until the end. I’d like to take a few official visits first.”
Moffett, ranked as the No. 31 middle linebacker in the country by Scout.com, plans to visit Louisville on Jan. 9, Miami of Ohio on Jan. 16 and Illinois on Jan. 31, although the trip to Champaign isn’t set yet.
He says that Illinois is recruiting him the hardest. “They talk to me the most,” Moffett said. “They have been on me since my sophomore year and have been with me the whole time.
“Plus, Illinois is close to home and it’s a pretty young team,” he said. “The coaches there are real cool. They have fun off the field, but once it’s game time, it’s game time.”
Champaign is just under two hours from Moffett’s home, which he says is definitely a plus.
Moffett says he liked USC as a youngster. “They were the best,” he said. “When I was watching them they had Carson Palmer and all those great players. That’s when I started liking them.”
While Moffett always liked the Trojans, he says his dad is a huge Notre Dame fan. “I think my dad would have loved it if I went to Notre Dame,” he said. “He’s a huge Notre Dame fan, but they weren’t really recruiting me.”
The Trojans didn’t recruit Moffett either.
One school that is recruiting Moffett hard is Cincinnati, his number two choice now. “They had a real great season,” Moffett said of the Bearcats. “They went to a big bowl game and they really surprised everyone this year. I think they’ll be a good team for a while.”
Moffett hasn’t taken any official visits yet, but plans to trip to Louisville on Jan. 9. “They have a pretty solid program,” he said. “I want to go there and see what they are all about.”
He says he’d also consider scheduling trips to Cincinnati and Michigan State if he has the time.
Moffett finished his senior season with 146 total tackles, 10 sacks, three fumbles caused and two interceptions.
“I can read plays quickly,” he said. “I can get to the ball fast and take good angles. I’m pretty strong and tough, but I want to get faster and stronger. He says he can bench press 240 pounds and squat 305.
“I’d like to get to the ball even faster and take on the bigger linemen,” he said.
Moffett says he’d like to major in either history or criminal justice, but his academics need some work. He reports a 2.0 core GPA and a 16 ACT, which he is retaking in February. “I need to get an 18,” he said. “I should be fine. The schools aren’t worried about it.”
With Moffett’s grades, he says that the school’s academic support system will be an important factor in his final decision. “I want to get an education and make sure they offer a good support system for the players,” he said. “I want to make sure I get my degree and have something to fall back on.”
Football-wise, Moffett says he just wants to play. “I don’t have to be starting right away or anything,” he said. “But I’d like to see the field by the time I’m a sophomore.”