Plans for Moore
Part of the intrigue with Texas Tech signee Gary Moore from Clarksville will be what position he plays in college. Moore is listed at 6-foot-6 and told Wreckem.com last week that he weighs 211 pounds right now. The small-school standout excelled in high school as a receiver, an inside linebacker and a basketball player. He was named the Class 1A Division I player of the year by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches last season.
He’ll start out as a receiver for Tech, but even with that established there’s another question: inside or outside?
“That’s something to (decide) when he gets here,” co-offensive coordinator Eric Morris said. “I think he probably fits the mold a little bit more like (inside receiver) Jace (Amaro) ... run some crossing routes with him. We’ll definitely want to single him up once we get close to the goal line and throw up some jump balls to him.”
Moore was an all-district player all four years at Clarksville, which moved up from Class 1A Division I to Class 2A with last February’s realignment. As a junior, he caught 48 passes for 695 yards and 10 touchdowns and also made 84 tackles and two interceptions playing linebacker.
As a senior, he was District 8-2A Division II’s tri-defensive player of the year.
“He’s a kid that could do both, honestly,” Morris said. “He did both really well in high school. He’ll start off at receiver, though.”
Moore, a member of The Avalanche-Journal state Top 100 prospects list, told Wreckem.com last week that he still has to make a high enough score on a college entrance exam to become eligible.
For now, he’s playing on the 10th-ranked basketball team in Class 2A as Clarksville tries to repeat the 1A Division I state championship it won last year.
“He’s just a multi-dimensional athlete,” Morris said. “He’s a kid that we love to get our hands on. He brings a lot to the table in a lot of different aspects of the game. He’s a big target with great ball skills. You watch him play basketball, and it’s something special.
“He’s a kid that understands the game (of football) on both sides of the ball, so we’re going to start him off and throw it up to him and see if he can haul it in. He’s shown on tape that he can do that.”
Texas Tech signed four players Wednesday that coaches are listing as receivers. There’s one prospect for each spot in the Red Raiders’ offense, co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie said.
Avalanche-Journal Fabulous 44 prospect Devin Lauderdale (5-10, 167) from Houston Bellaire is viewed as an outside receiver, Cumbie said. So is DeMarquis (D.J.) Polite-Bray (6-0, 175) from Lithonia, Ga., Martin Luther King. One figures to learn at split end, the other at flanker, much like in 2012 when Dominique Wheeler trained at split end and Reginald Davis at flanker while those two redshirted.
Carlos Thompson (5-9, 173) from Manvel is projected as an “H” inside receiver and Dylan Cantrell (6-3, 202) from Whitehouse as a “Y” inside receiver.
Cumbie compared Cantrell to former Tech inside receiver Mickey Peters with both being 6-3 and a little more than 200 pounds.
“He’s a big, physical receiver who runs really well,” Cumbie said. “He has strong hands. You watch highlights and what really sticks out about him is his ball skills.
“And he’s a kid that’s totally driven. He’s a kid that, physically, is ready to come in and compete for some playing time. It’ll be up to him mentally how well he picks it up and how fast he picks it up.”
Cantrell is a member of The Avalanche-Journal state Top 100 prospects list. As a junior, he caught 86 passes for 1,402 yards and 21 touchdowns. He followed that up as a senior with 67 catches for 1,422 yards and 15 TDs.
Tech also signed Gary Moore from Clarksville, listing him as an athlete, meaning he could be considered at a few positions.
Cody Hayes, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound offensive lineman from Fort Worth Eastern Hills, could be a sleeper of the Red Raiders’ class. Hayes has a good frame, combined with the mobility and aggressiveness to get blocks both at the line of scrimmage and the second level.
Still, he generated little attention for much of the recruiting process — until late in the game, when the competition to sign Hayes picked up.
“Oklahoma, TCU, I know those two for sure came in late and offered him,” co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie said. “Arizona State. Those were the three.”
Cumbie said Tech coaches loved Hayes when he came to their satellite camp last June in Lancaster. He impressed not only with his ability his attitude.
“Very athletic, great feet,” Cumbie said. “When he came to camp, he just soaked everything up from a coaching standpoint. He was very competitive, first in line, getting after it and practiced real hard.”
New offensive line coach Lee Hays indicated that Cody Hayes could play guard.
“He has the height and the wingspan to play tackle,” Hays said. “But with the other guys we have signed, he’s probably more of a guard for us now.”
Hayes was a second-team all-state selection by the Associated Press Sports Editors.
Speed’s the ticket
Going into national signing day, Tech had 19 pledges and was keeping its fingers crossed on several additional players who were publicly not committed anywhere. One of the late additions was wide receiver DeMarquis (D.J.) Polite-Bray from Lithonia, Ga., Martin Luther King High School.
Polite-Bray was Class 5A first-team all-state by the Georgia Sportswriters Association in 2012, when he caught 53 passes for 1,063 yards and 17 touchdowns. The 6-foot, 175-pound Bray will be an outside receiver for Tech, either a split end or flanker.
“He’s a very fast kid, great acceleration,” Tech co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie said. “He was a 200 (meters) state champion. He’s definitely an outside receiver that’s got some speed. He’s at the top of our class and team in terms of speed.”
Polite-Bray had scholarship offers from Louisville, Tennessee and Wake Forest, among others.
Tech landed two of his teammates as well, offensive tackle Josh Outlaw and linebacker Jacarthy Mack.
Safeties coach Trey Haverty was the Tech assistant who made the foray into Georgia to lay the groundwork to get the three, and co-offensive coordinator Eric Morris followed up with them.
Chandler to Kansas JC
Lawton, Okla., cornerback Maurice Chandler has signed with Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., according to 247sports.com.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Chandler committed to Tech in July.
Spring practice set
Texas Tech will begin its first spring practice under new coach Kliff Kingsbury on March 24.
The Red Raiders are currently scheduled to play their annual Red-Black spring game on April 20.
Compiled by staff writer Don Williams