Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh has offered a scholarship to a seventh-grade quarterback.
Dante Jacob Moore, a 13-year-old who will enter eighth grade in the fall at A.G.B.U. Alex & Marie Manoogian School, a charter program in Southfield, received the offer Monday after participating at U-M’s football camp in Ann Arbor, according to Moore’s father, Otha Sr.
“(Harbaugh) just said he had heard word about him and (asked) was I bringing him to the camp,” Otha said. “He was looking forward to meeting him. He has been working out with Devin (Gardner) a lot, as well as Quarterback U. He has been on Devin’s Instagram. I think that’s where Harbaugh saw him.”
Recruiting middle schoolers isn’t out of the ordinary for U-M, which in May offered Tyler Martin, who played linebacker for Cambridge (Mass.) Buckingham, Browne & Nichols High School last season as an eighth-grader. In March, Martin, Tenn., eighth-grader Ty Simpson got an offer from Michigan.
Moore, already 6 feet 2 and 165 pounds, plays for the Detroit Spartans, and has helped the team win three United Youth Football League national championships. It’s the same youth team Walled Lake Western quarterback Sam Johnson III played for. Johnson, in the class of 2019, received his first offer in the eighth-grade from Akron before eventually committing to Boston College in May.
“I’ve had him since he was 8 years old,” said Donovan Dooley, founder of Quarterback University, a training ground for prep football players. “He’s going to be special.’’
Moore’s mentors include Gardner, the former U-M QB, Rodney Hall, who starred at Detroit Cass Tech, Gardner, and U-M wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, another former Cass Tech star. Moore’s brother, Otha Jr., 17, is a wide receiver at Cass.
Moore’s first high school camp was at Best of the Midwest a couple of weeks ago at Grand Valley State.
He finished in the top 5 in the ninth- and 10th-grade group.
“He has always been advanced for his age,” said Otha Sr. “He’s quite talented, but it has been silent. … Shocked? Yes, because it’s Michigan. Even Devin told me do you know what you’re working with. He’s just ready to compete.”