USA TODAY High School Sports is publishing a series called “The Class of 17”, highlighting 17 members of the Class of 2017 whom we will be watching in the coming year. The athletes were selected by the USA TODAY HSS staff.
Name: Dylan Moses
School: IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Position: Linebacker-Running Back
Dylan Moses has been in the national spotlight for so long, it seems as if he should be playing in the NFL instead of as a senior at IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.).
By the spring of his eighth-grade year, before he had played a down of high school football, he had offers from LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Florida, Florida State, UCLA, Nebraska and Texas.
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As a freshman at University Lab in his native Baton Rouge, he committed to LSU, but backed off that commitment a year ago. The Tigers are still in the running for the 6-2, 230-pound senior, but because he’s been to LSU many times, he didn’t list it among five official visits this fall. He tweeted in June that he’ll visit Alabama on Oct. 1, Miami on Oct. 8, Texas on Oct. 15, UCLA on Nov. 19 and Ohio State on Nov. 26.
Every move he makes is read like tea leaves to determine his recruiting intent. Though he said he doesn’t seek the attention, he hasn’t tired of the questions.
“It’s the same answer every time,” Moses said. “I just tell them I’m going to make my decision in December. I couldn’t play for just any coach. If I don’t have a good relationship with my coach, I couldn’t play for them. It’s mainly the position coach that you have to be comfortable with.”
Once considered a running back recruit, last season, he was an all-state linebacker at University Lab with 104 tackles. He said he transferred to IMG to push himself before he enters college next January.
“From where I came from, I didn’t get as much competition,” Moses said. “As soon as I stepped on IMG’s campus, it was competition from the get-go. Day in, day out, we have to give 100 percent. It’s pretty tiring and at the same time, it has to make you better.”
In a preseason kickoff classic game last week, IMG freely substituted and Moses had five tackles. He said the prime area he has to work on is the mental side of the game, particularly learning IMG’s defense. Ascenders coach Kevin Wright, via text, said Moses leads by example.
“Dylan is a very humble, incredibly athletic young man,” Wright said. “He is a guy who leads by example by how hard he works in the classroom, weight room and on the field. He is a guy who has the potential to make game-changing plays from the defensive side of the ball.”
IMG, ranked No. 4 in the Super 25, visits No. 2 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) on Saturday as part of the GEICO ESPN High School Kickoff.
“It’s more the classroom work, learning the plays,” Moses said. “I feel like on the field, I am OK physically with that. It’s in the classroom, where I have to learn some things about our defense.”
While he said there’s a good chance he’ll play on both sides of the ball at IMG, he enjoys being the one who dishes out the contact.
“That’s why I like playing linebacker,” Moses said.
After football, Moses said he’d like to open his own training facility. His father is his training coach and as evidenced by Moses’ 4.5 40-yard dash and 500-pound squats, he’s doing something right.