Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic: Tailback Moore turns heads in all directions

Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic: Tailback Moore turns heads in all directions

News

Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic: Tailback Moore turns heads in all directions

By

It’s not uncommon for a high school athlete to be successful or dominant at multiple sports.

The names of talented athletes routinely find their way onto the list of all-state selectees more than once during the course of a respective season.

Kailo Moore just happens to be one of those types. As a two-sport standout at West Bolivar High (Rosedale, Miss.), Moore has generated a lot of attention amongst college recruiters in both football and track to become one of Mississippi’s most intriguing prospects.

“I’ve been running track since seventh grade, but everyone started paying attention to me in football after my breakout season in 10th grade,” said Moore, a running back who’ll suit up in Saturday’s Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic. “After that, I started getting recruited by everyone for track and football.”

Moore’s blend of speed and breakaway ability are reasons why SEC rivals Mississippi State and Ole Miss are jockeying for his attention. Alabama, Tennessee and Vanderbilt have shown considerable interest as well.

Rated the No. 2 overall football prospect from his state by several recruiting services, Moore has gained at least 1,100 yards every season since his freshman year. It was his electrifying sophomore campaign (2,298 yards, 32 touchdowns) in 2010 that put college coaches into a frenzy.

The 5-foot-11 speedster is just as dominant on the track, qualifying for the 100-meter state finals four out of the last five seasons and five straight in the 200 meters. He has captured gold in the 100 the previous three years that features a blistering 10.41 championship performance last May.

“I got a variety of track offers,” said Moore, who has drawn interest from Miami (Fla.), MSU and Ole Miss. “I really haven’t had time to look around to see what’s really out there because I’ve been focusing on football and not track right now.”

Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen’s approval of track factored into Moore’s commitment.

“Me and coach Mullen have an understanding,” said Moore, who ran a 40-yard dash in 4.25 seconds. “He’s going to let me do both as long as I am taking care of my academics, so I am not worried about that because I got a 3.5 GPA. … As long as I get the chance to run track I’ll be alright — it has helped me out a whole lot.

“I love both sports.”

However, surprisingly it’s not Moore’s speed that has drawn praise from the Mississippi All-Star coaches.

“He’s really a good football player, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how he hits it up between the tackles,” Mississippi All-Star head coach Junior Graham said. “Because he’s a speed type of guy, the coaching staff was really pleased with the way he was going between the tackles.”

Moore said he makes it a point to prove to opposing defenses that he’s not the typical speed back who tries to avoid would-be tacklers at all cost. Even with the five-star defenders like Reuben Foster and Dee Liner, Graham offers a bit of caution to the Alabama All-Stars.

“You may take him away for three or four plays in a row, but the next play he could go 70 yards on a routine play because he’s that good,” said Graham, whose high school team Eupora got burned for 285 rushing yards by Moore in two career playoff meetings. “At the point of contact, he turns into a powerful runner. He has excellent leg drive.”

Latest

More USA TODAY High School Sports