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Football Recruiting: Christian Moore Breakdown

SB Nation logo SB Nation 4/15/2019 Drew Schneider
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Drew looks at what 2020 Wildcat verbal commitment Christian Moore brings to the table.

Kansas State picked up an interesting addition to the 2020 recruiting class this weekend when Christian Moore, a 3*, 6’3, 225 tight end from Huntington Beach, California gave his verbal commitment to the Wildcats.

Moore chose the Kansas State over interest from Boise State, Nevada, and Oregon State.

Christian Moore is a case of Coach Klieman and Messingham recruiting a player with a unique skill set that may fit the K-State offense better than most.

While nominally listed as a tight end, I consider Moore H-back. In high school, his team moves him all over the field. On the same drive Moore can line up as a fullback, in-line tight end, split end and outside receiver for Huntington Beach High School.

His highlight package does an excellent job of showcasing his versatility.

How He Fits

H-back is a crucial position in the Messingham offense. He needs a player that can move around the formation and create a numerical blocking advantage while still possessing the ability to split out and function as a wide receiver.

Normally, I would consider 6’3 a little short for the tight end position. Most tight ends these days look more like small forwards than point guards, but the H-back position is different. If you’re looking for a player to motion into the backfield and lead block on a power play, 6’3 is about perfect. You want a player that can get low, use leverage, and meet a linebacker in the hole. It’s hard for taller tight ends to win the leverage battle. You don’t see many 6’6 lead blockers for that reason.

Moore also gives the Wildcats and interesting option in the screen game. Wide receivers, generally speaking, aren’t known for their blocking prowess. I expect to see Moore motion out and be used as a blocker on wide receiver screens. He shows the ability to find defenders and get them on the ground as a blocker. I expect to see Messingham’s offense count players in the box and throw quick screens to the outside when teams stack the box in the run game. Having the ability to motion a player like Moore out of the formation as a receiving and blocking option will be useful.

Finally, with all this talk of blocking, Moore’s ability to catch the ball makes it all work. While not a prolific receiver in high school, he did haul in 27 receptions last year for 338 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Teams will have to respect him as a receiver, which should lead to some interesting match ups. Put a linebacker on him and he gets motioned out of the formation as a receiver. He has solid hands and runs good routes, he should be able to win against most linebackers. At the same time, if the defense tries to match up with a safety, he can motion into the formation and the run game gets to deal with a safety instead of a linebacker in the box. These are the type of decisions Messingham forced defensive coordinators to make when he was running the North Dakota State offense, I expect that to continue in Manhattan.

Overall

This is the type of recruit that I love for Kansas State.

He’s undervalued because he doesn’t fit what most scouts look for in a traditional tight end, but Klieman and Messingham aren’t looking for a traditional tight end. The flaw (undersized for a tight end, not fast enough for a wide receiver) that depresses his star value in the eyes of scouts is a feature in K-State offense.

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